Largest exhibition hall in Egypt opened

UNESCO director-general, Irina Bokova (left) with Egyptian President,Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, during her visit in Egypt.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) director general, Irina Bokova, has opened the largest exhibition hall in Egypt.

The recently rehabilitated exhibition hall is situated in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC).

“The story of Egypt is about cultural renewal, when people build on the richness and strength of their cultural traditions to foster resilience, cohesion, innovation and creativity,” the UNESCO secretary general said.

Ms Bokova made the remarks in Egypt when she inaugurated several new areas of the National Museums of Egyptian Civilisation, including the reception area, the temporary exhibition hall, laboratories, theatre and meeting room.

During the opening of the exhibition hall, Ms Bokova was accompanied by Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismael and Minister of Antiquities, Dr Khaled El Enany.

“This is an important step towards the museum’s completion, and a key example of successful international cooperation,” she said.

 “The origins of the museum stretch back to the early 1960s, when the international community joined hands to save the monuments of Nubia.”

Ms Bokova added: “This monument is revolutionary as it sparked a new way of thinking about humanity and its common heritage.

“We need this same spirit today, the same audacity to respond to new threats against heritage and our common humanity.”

The UNESCO director-general underscored the importance of museums to foster awareness of shared history and to transmit common values.

“This is the spirit of UNESCO’s recommendation concerning the protection and promotion of museums and collections adopted in November 2015,” she said, highlighting the need to promote the role of museums to foster the ideals of tolerance and mutual understanding.

Ms Bokova also visited the Abu Simbel Complex which is part of the UNESCO world heritage site inscribed in 1979 known as the Nubian Monuments, which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae.

She also visited the Nubian Museum in Aswan to reinforce the long-standing cooperation between Egypt and UNESCO.

The museum designed by architect Mahmood el Akim was inaugurated in November 1997.

Ms Bokova as well visited the Valley of the Queens and Kings in Luxor.

The Valley contains 63 tombs for Kings and Queens over a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to the 11th century BC.

She paid a visit to the Stoppelaere’s House, New Gourna Village located on the West Bank of the Nile River within the World Heritage property of ancient Thebes in Egypt.

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