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Monday, March 21, 2016

Tel Al-Amarna Visitors Centre in Minya opens - Museums - Heritage - Ahram Online

Tel Al-Amarna Visitors Centre in Minya opens

The visitors centre in Minya highlights the distinguished era of monotheistic King Akhenaten

Nevine El-Aref , Sunday 20 Mar 2016

replica of furniture of an Amarna house (courtesy of the ministry of antiquities)

In a bid to promote tourism in Egypt, especially in the Upper Egypt city of Minya, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty inaugurated today the Tel Al-Amarna Visitors Centre.

The centre highlights the reign of monotheistic King Akhnaten, considered one the country's most important and fascinating eras in the span of ancient Egyptian history.

Eldamaty explained that the centre puts on show replicas of King Akhenaten's tomb, along with a collection of fully furnished palaces and houses of this distinguished era.

A collection of statues of King Akhenaten and his wife, Queen Nefertiti, are also on show, along with busts of their daughters. A three-metre tall statue of King Akhenaten is located in the centre's entrance gate, to welcome visitors.

Eldamaty during the opening(courtesy of the ministry of antiquities)

"It is a very important project built by the Ministry of Antiquities," Mahmoud Affifi, head of the ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department at the ministry, told Ahram Online, adding that it will extend a hand to promote local and international tourism, as the centre displays a replica of Tel Al-Amarna town with its streets, houses, palaces and temples.

Wadalla Abu El-Ela, head of the minstry's Projects Department, explained that the centre is 10,000 square metres large and was built at a cost of EGP 44 million. It consists of a display area, a service building, a cafeteria, a library and a parking lot.

A replica of a temple's gate (courtesy of the ministry of antiquities)

During the opening ceremony, Eldamaty said that work on the Aten Museum and Malawi National Museum are at full swing, and that news to the contrary is false.

It was published today that the Aten Museum, which highlights the history of the King Akhenatun era and his capital, Akhtaten, was subject to encroachment and construction work stopped.

Similar claims were made on the Malawi National Museum, which was subjected to looting and deterioration in 2013, during violence that followed the dispersal of sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo’s Nasr City district and Al-Nahda Square in Giza.

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