Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Issues topping the Antiquities agenda in Egypt

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El Aref)

Following the 25 January Revolution and the drastic decrease in tourism to Egypt, the income of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) reached its lowest level ever and its budget had to be curtailed. This meant that all development and restoration works in progress had to be put on hold. Among these projects were the structural repair and reinforcement of the inner chambers of Djoser's Step Pyramid at Saqqara and the rehabilitation work of the renowned Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria.

Media rumours too have taken their toll. It was claimed that delays in processing payment to companies carrying out restoration work on both projects had led to work being neglected. Blocks in inner chambers of Djoser's Step Pyramid were falling, while some pieces in the collection of Alexandria's Graeco-Roman Museum that had been moved further along the coast to the Marina archaeological galleries were deteriorating because of poor storage conditions.

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