Sunday, December 20, 2009

National Library and Archives

The National Library and Archives was established by an AH 1286 (AD 1870) decree from Khedive Ismail on an initiative from Ali Pasha Mubarak. By virtue of that decree, the Library of the Egyptian Khedivite occupied the first floor in the Palace of Prince Mustafa Fadel, the Khedive's brother, in Darb Al Gamamiz. The library was established for the purpose of "collecting the valuable and precious manuscripts held back by the Sultans, Princes, Scholars, and authors from the Mosques, Shrines, and Institutions of Learning."

As the Library grew, the palace became crowded with the collection, and a new location was found in Bab El Khalq Square for the Khedivite Library and the House (Dar) of Arab Antiquities, the present Museum of Islamic Art. The ground floor was allocated to the latter, while the two upper floors were allocated to the former. The Library moved to the new premises in the year 1903 and was officially opened in the beginning of the following year.

The building, once again, became too small to hold the ever-increasing collection, and a foundation stone of a newer building, overlooking the Nile at Ramlet Boulak, was laid in July of 1961. Transfer to the newer premises began in 1973, but the official opening came later in 1977.

In the current development of the Library, new information technology systems were introduced in the reading, manuscripts, and documents halls. The modern system allows users to gain access to the Library's great resources in manuscripts and documents, which include more than 57,000 of the most valuable manuscripts in the world. The manuscript collection covers a vast number of subjects, fully documened, dated, and compiled. It also houses a rare number of Arabic papyri, including a group totalling 3,000 that were discovered in Kom Ashqow, Upper Egypt. These are related to marriage, rent, and exchange contracts, as well as records, accounts of taxes, distribution of inheritance, and the payment of dowries and other items. The oldest papyrus group dates back to the year AH 87 (AD 705), only 444 papyri out of these were published. A good collection of official documents representing endowment deeds and records of different ministries and courts in the various fields of archaeology and history can also be found in the Library. The Library also keeps a good collection of Arabic coins, the oldest of which dates back to the year AH 77 (AD 696).

from this museum

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Greco-Roman Museum

The Greco-Roman Museum was officially opened on 17 October 1892 by Khedive Abbas Helmy the Second. Giuseppe Botti, an Italian, had undertaken the task of creating a museum in Alexandria dedicated to the Greco-Roman period.

Interest in this period had begun in earnest after 1866, when Mahmoud El-Falaki completed his excavations in Alexandria, bringing to light the plan of the ancient city. Interest in the museum was enhanced by the formation of the Society of Archaeology in Alexandria in 1893.

Initially, the collections were housed in part of a building situated in Rosetta Street, which is now El-Horreih Road. Construction of the first ten galleries of the present building was completed in 1895. The additional galleries (numbers 11 to 16) were completed in 1899 and the facade was completed in 1900. Some of the Greco-Roman artifacts, especially the coin collection, were obtained from the Bulaq Museum (now the Egyptian Museum) in Cairo.

When Giuseppe Botti assumed responsibility for the management of the museum, he enriched it with collections obtained from his excavations in the city and its environs. When Evaristo Breccia and Achille Adriani subsequently took charge of the museum, they continued to supply it with objects from excavations in Alexandria. They also began to obtain artifacts for the museum from excavations in the Fayium region.

The collections in the museum mostly date from the third century BC to the third century AD, spanning the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The collections are categorized and organized in 27 rooms with some objects exhibited in the small garden.

Negotiations Egypt Germany later this month to regain the Head of Queen Nefertiti

Scheduled to take place Egypt this month, talks with Germany in its bid to reclaim the statue of Queen Nefertiti, as confirmed by the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Dr.. Zahi Hawass, Egypt would continue its claim to recover the head of Queen Nefertiti from Germany.

Hawass added that he would meet on December 20 with Frederika Svrid director of the Egyptian papyri in the Berlin Museum, where the new displays famous statue, which attracts hundreds of millions of visitors from around the world.

He pointed out that he would submit to the director of the museum, who is visiting Cairo for the discussion of the evidence is that the head escaped from Egypt illegally, pointing out that successive German governments refused Egypt's request to return the statue, which abound in the world or painted images made like him.

The head of Nefertiti is the effect due to the Pharaonic reserves in 3400 by Germany, attracting millions of tourists each year, and had left
From Egypt in mysterious circumstances
Have often been replaced except P diplomat between the two countries.