Egyptian, German officials visit Minya's unfinished Aten Museum
Nevine El-Aref, , Sunday 12 Apr 2015
Egypt and Germany are expected
to sign a deal to complete construction in order to open the Egyptology
museum next year, after over a decade's delay
Egypt's minister of antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty visited the
construction site of the Aten Museum in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya
on Sunday. He was accompanied by Ingo Meyer, mayor of the German city
of Hildesheim, Regine Schulz, director of the Hildesheim Museum, and
Friederike Seyfried, director of the Berlin Museum.
During the tour, they discussed the completion of the third and
final phase of the museum's construction to finally open it next year,
after a delay of over a decade.
Several financial and construction problems have stalled the
museum's completion since Germany suggested its pyramid-shaped design in
Set by the Nile in Minya, when it is finished, the museum is to
exhibit artifacts from the rule of Ancient Egyptian monotheistic king
Akhenaten, whose capital was located in Amarna, outside the modern-day
city of Minya. During his rule, the king coverted to the worship of the
god Aten, hence the name of the museum.
Egypt and Germany are to sign a new agreement to fund the third
phase of the museum at a cost of LE100 million, according to Eldamaty.
This phase, the minister said, is to include the completion of museum
grounds, designed by consultant Mahmoud Mabrouk and to include
exhibition spaces and an open air theatre.
The antiquities ministry previously provided LE 102 million for the
first two phases of the project, including the construction of the
museum's main five-floor building, he said. The building, whose design
was modified by late architect Gamal Bakry, is said to feature up to 14
exhibition halls, a conference hall, and a school for museum and
In 2013, Egypt and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation signed
a letter of intent to execute the final phase of the museum's
construction, to be carried out by the Berlin Museum and Egypt's
ministry of antiquities, he said.
Hisham Al-Leithy, in charge of scientific documentation at the
ministry, told Ahram Online that the museum would display a large
collection related to king Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti, found in
the archeological site of Amarna.
This collection includes statues of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, as
well as of his father, king Amenhotep III, and his mother Tyie. The
exhibition is also to explore Egypt's relations with its neighbours in
the period, through a display of the diplomatic archive from his rule.
Also to be exhibited are a set oftalatatstones, blocks of a
standardised size used in the construction of temples to the god Aten in
Karnak and Amarna during Akhenaten's reign.
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