Egypt's Tourism & Antiquities Min. keen to complete Akhenaten's Museum in El-Minya
By: Mustafa Marie
Sun, Jun. 28, 2020
CAIRO – 28 June 2020: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that strongly hit the entire world, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities did not stop its work. The ministry's work is carried out within the framework of strict precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the novel virus, and to complete work on archaeological sites.
Among the museums, which Egypt's Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities is working on, is the Akhenaten Museum in Minya.
Head of the Central Department for Engineering Affairs, Archeology and Museum Projects
Waad Abul-Ela stated that the work of the third stage has been completed in the museum, and the fourth stage has started. Abul-Ela further added that work inside the museum is underway, and the ministry is working to complete the open-air sites to open them at the earliest time, according to the precautionary measures implemented by the state to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, in regards to the German grant to the museum, Abul- Ela said in press statements that the grant is supposed to be allocated to the museum's security equipment and showcases, but has not yet arrived.
Abul-Ela clarified that not receiving the grant did not interfere with the work inside the museum, where internal finishing work is currently being conducted. He pointed out that the museum spans over an area of 25 acres with a length of 600 meters on the Nile Corniche and consists of 14 show-casing halls. According to Abul-Ela, the number of artifacts due to be displayed at the museum may reach 10,000 artifacts.
Moreover, the museum's main hall illustrates the history of the city of Minya through different eras, while the rest of the halls contain artifacts that narrate the history and art of Akhenaten's era. The museum also contains a theater, cinema, and conference hall for about 800 people, an ancient library and a bazaars area consisting of 19 bazaars. This is in addition to five artificial lakes overlooking the Nile, and a number of cafeterias, an administrative building with a staff training center and another to revive heritage industries and crafts.
Works of establishment of the Akhenaten Museum in Minya was first conducted in 2003. The project was divided to three stages.
According to Abul-Ela, the first stage was completed in 2007, and included the museum's concrete structure and the buildings of the main museum, as well as the usual works and finishes for the attached buildings, which are represented in the restoration school, the machinery building, the cafeteria, the gift shop building, the bridge, and the gates.
In addition, Abul-Ela explained that the second phase of the museum project included the facades of the main museum building, as well as maintenance works of the central air conditioning, elevators, irrigation network at the general site and the building of the tourist police station. He also pointed out that some obstacles hinder the implementation of the second stage, and reviewed the most important of these obstacles before the Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
According to Abul-Ela, the second stage is extended in the works of the third stage of the museum project, which includes the work of the interior finishes of the main museum building and the completion of works at the general site, along with all electrical work, and the completion of air conditioning, fire and irrigation maintenance works.
Additionally, Abul-Ela clarified that the project was halted due to the events of the January 25 revolution, due to the lack of funds; then construction work started again under President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to complete the third stage.
The idea of establishing the Akhenaten Museum came through an agreement between Minya Governorate and a German city in 1979, to illustrate the era of Akhenaten, and the period of unification to tell the story of Tel el-Amarna as a part of Minya Governorate, the capital of Egypt at that time.
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