Saturday, July 02, 2005

Egyptology and Heritage Items from Egypt Today

The following are extracts from July's edition of Egypt Today, which were scattered throughout the online publication.
SCA Law 117
"The Supreme Council for Antiquities is preparing a new antiquities law to replace the current one, Law 117 for the year 1983. According to Zahi Hawass, the SCA’s high-profile secretary-general, the old law is no longer suitable because the penalties it imposes for the crimes of antiquity trafficking are not strong enough. The law will be presented to the People’s Assembly when it reconvenes for its next legislative season after the anticipated fall parliamentary and presidential elections".

Sarabit El-Khadem
"Sarabit El-Khadem, the only ancient Egyptian temple in Sinai, is scheduled to appear on tourist itineraries in the coming months. The temple, southeast of Abu Zneima city in South Sinai, was recently restored at a cost of LE 10 million. Built in homage to Hat-Hor (the lady of Turquoise) in the 12th dynasty, the temple juxtaposes a number of turquoise mining caves that were used in ancient times".

Tourism and Antiquities Price Rises
"25 the percentage by which admission fees for tourism and antiquities sites will be raised, according to Elhamy El-Zayat, head of the Egyptian Federation of Tourism Chambers. The extra cash will be used to restore and preserve the sites".

Ramesses II Statue Move
"Egypt Today article about Cairo heritage projects. A summary of the latest news on the Ramesses II statue and the Baron's Palace in Heliopolis."

Egyptian Museum Officials referred for Negligence
"17 the number of officials at the Egyptian Museum referred to the Higher Disciplinary Court for negligence after 38 antiquities disappeared from the museum".

Festivals in a Year
"282 the total number of feasts Ancient Egyptians celebrated each year, according to a report released last month by an independent group of Egyptologists".
"A Polish expedition working in Alexandria has discovered 13 lecture halls that are believed to be part of the old Bibliotheca Alexandrina, built by the Romans 2,300 years ago. The expedition was also able to distinguish special seats for lecturing professors. The Roman amphitheater in Alexandria, which has now been annexed by the new Alex Opera, is thought to be another of the Bibliothecas lecture halls".

Shala (Siwa) recorded by UNESCO
"Shala, the picturesque mud city of Siwa, has been added to the World Heritage Antiquities recorded by the UNESCO".

Heritage protocols between Egypt and Qatar see return of Akhenaton Items
"Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni came under heavy attack last month at the Peoples Assembly when Dr. Zakaria Azmy questioned the usefulness of an antiquities protocol between Egypt and Qatar, since most Gulf countries look on monuments as heathen statues that must be pulled down. The minister replied that Sheikh Saud Bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani the director of the National Culture, Heritage and Arts Council of Qatar, had always been interested in Egyptian antiquities, so much so that he has agreed to give back 80 pieces from the Akhnaton era. Dr. Zahi Hawass came by the pieces during his visit to Qatar last December, and it was then that Sheikh Saud promised to give them as a present to Egypt. The goods will be exhibited in the Tel el-Amarna museum, expected to be completed in two years time. The pieces have yet to arrive"

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