Egypt Independent: Culture-Main news en 17 historical manuscripts stolen, 183 vulnerable to damage and theft <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Professor of Medieval History at the University of Zagazig Amr Abdel Aziz sent a number of letters to Sharqiya governor, the Supreme Council for Culture, and the National Library of Documents, to save 183 rare manuscripts that have been poorly stored at Zagazig&#39;s Public Library.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The manuscripts according to Abdel Aziz are placed in a cupboard near the Zagazig&#39;s Public Library and are vulnerable to damage and theft.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Zagazig&#39;s Public Library is not under the tutelage of the Ministry of Culture, Abdel Aziz told <i>Al-Masry Al-Youm</i>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Culture Mohamed Afify asked Abdel Aziz to prepare an official report about the content of the manuscripts and its condition to submit it to the Minister if Culture Gaber Asfour and transfer the manuscripts to a safe place.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><i>Al-Masry Al-Youm</i> had the opportunity to see the manuscripts. Some date back to the late Ayyubid era and others to the Mamluk and Ottoman eras.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Abdel Aziz said more than 17 historical manuscripts and books have been stolen from the Zagazig&#39;s Public Library.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The crime was blurred by manipulation as the employees in charge claimed the old manuscripts were damaged, according to Abdel Aziz.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some of the stolen manuscripts belonged to Emir Omar Toson, said Abdel Aziz.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Other stolen books and manuscripts which are one of their kind in the world included a manuscript by Moroccan traveler in the Ottoman era Mohamed al-Bishi, four parts of the first edition of the Khitat Al-Maqrizi, a book by Egyptian historian under the Mamluk era Taqi Eddin al-Maqrizi, and an overview of Egypt by French physician Clot Bey, Abdel Aziz mentioned.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Abdel Aziz called for transferring the manuscripts placed at Zagazig&#39;s Public Library to Cairo Public Library or the Alexandria Bibliotheca.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><i>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</i></div> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:31:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2437744 at sites/default/files/photo/2013/02/28/9948/101_nights.jpg Egypt fails to retrieve ancient statue before sale at UK auction <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;">Egypt has failed to retrieve an Ancient pharaonic statue before it was sold for &pound;14 million at a UK auction hall.</p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;"><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">An official source at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities told&nbsp;</span><i style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Al-Masry Al-Youm</i><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;that Christie auction hall had offered that the statue be sold to Egypt as a last ditch effort, which Egypt rejected</span><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;">North Southampton, a London-based magazine that publishes news about the museum where the piece was auctioned, said the Sekhemka statue&rsquo;s price jumped from &nbsp;&pound;3 million to &nbsp;&pound;14 million in the final five minutes of auctioning.</p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;">&ldquo;The 30in (76cm) limestone figure of a court official clutching beer, bread and cake - items for the afterlife - is believed to have been acquired by Spencer Compton, the second Marquis of Northampton during a trip to Egypt in 1850. It was presented to the museum by his son some years later,&rdquo; according to BBC.</p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;">Ali al-Asfar, an official at the Ministry of Antiquities, told&nbsp;<i>Al-Masry Al-Youm</i>&nbsp;that though the ministry is now unable to retrieve the statue after sale, it will proceed with legal measures to track and return it.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">He said his ministry would also sue the auction&rsquo;s organizers.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;">Asfar, however, admitted that the ministry does not have proof of Egypt&rsquo;s right to the statue since it left the country illegally, which makes litigation a possibly futile track. He explained that another means is that the buyer donates the piece to Egypt, which is unlikely because of its large price.</p><p dir="ltr" style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;">Ossama al-Nahhas, former head of the ministry&rsquo;s retrieved antiquities department, said the statue was probably gifted by an 18th century royalist to the English recipient, a lawful action at the time. Nahhas believes the best means to retrieve the piece is through intensive diplomacy.</p><p style="font-size: 14.399999618530273px;"><i>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</i></p><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:35:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm,Egypt Independent 2437455 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/07/11/94/sekhemka_statue.jpg Antiquities Ministry calls for suspension of selling of statue in London <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>An Antiquities Ministry official left Cairo on Monday to follow up on developments of selling statue of Sekhemka, of the fifth dynasty, in London.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The ministry earlier addressed the Foreign Ministry to take necessary measures to stop selling of the statue made of colored limestone.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mamdouh al-Damaty, minister of antiquities, said the ministry noticed that Northampton Museum, located in England, displayed the statue and promoted it for selling.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Damaty added that the national council for museums has been addressed to stop the selling. He rejected trade in Egyptian cultural monuments especially by international museums, adding that obtaining the monuments illegally prevents it from being sold.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ali Ahmed, head of recovered antiquities department, said the statue was gifted to Northampton Museum at the 18th century. It has been displayed there since 1849. Ali added that statue was likely granted by a king from the Ottoman era.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:55:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2437380 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/01/21/484151/308.jpg Gamal Abdel Nasser’s museum to open in 2015 <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-5cec1a9a-164b-7de9-3f79-fa78f533ec8c">Culture Minister Gaber Asfour said that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi&nbsp;will open the museum of the late president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 2015.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Around 70 percent of the building&#39;s construction is complete.</span></p><p dir="ltr">The Abdel Nasser museum will be located at the late president&#39;s house&nbsp;in Mansheyyet al-Bakry.<br /><br />There will be statues of some patriotic figures that took part in 1956&nbsp;war and a number of cultural events will also be held at the museum.<br /><br />Abdel Nasser was a member of the Free Officers movement, which ended&nbsp;the rule of King Farouq in 1952 and established the Egyptian republic.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Abdel Nasser was Egypt&#39;s second president following Mohamed Naguib.</span></p><p dir="ltr">He died in September 1970.<br /><br /><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:06:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2437400 at sites/default/files/photo/2013/06/05/5886/president_gamal_abdel_nasser.jpg