The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
In the framework of the International Campaign for the Establishment of the Nubia Museum in Aswan and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo, UNESCO is advising the Egyptian government on the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo. The NMEC will be the first museum to be devoted to the entirety of Egyptian civilization.
The first veritable museum of civilization in Egypt, the NMEC is located on the archaeological site of El-Fustat in Old Cairo, overlooking the Ain El-Seera Lake. The Museum was designed by Egyptian architect El Ghazzali Kosseiba. The exhibition spaces are being designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. The NMEC will showcase Egyptian civilization from prehistoric times to the present day, using a multidisciplinary approach that highlights the country’s tangible and intangible heritage.
The Museum’s collections will be displayed in a core permanent exhibition of the principle achievements of Egyptian civilization, with six thematic galleries covering the Dawn of Civilization, The Nile, Writing, State and Society, Material Culture, Beliefs and Thinking and the Gallery of Royal Mummies.
The Museum will also have generous temporary exhibition spaces, an auditorium and an education and research centre, as well as an exhibition on the development of the modern city of Cairo. It will act as a venue for a variety of events, including film screenings, conferences, lectures and cultural activities and will target broad local, national and international audiences.
The NMEC in the Cairo context
Designed as a major attraction for visitors to Egypt as well as an internationally recognized research and conservation centre, the NMEC will have an important role to play in raising awareness of modern and contemporary Egyptian history and society, hosting events and temporary displays and exhibitions and providing an important centre for the country’s youth. It has the opportunity to become an inclusive institution that serves as a forum for open dialogue, debate and the exchange of ideas.
UNESCO is providing technical support to the NMEC in training, exhibition development and other areas. The project forms part of UNESCO’s work to help safeguard and preserve Egypt’s cultural heritage, going back more than half a century to the establishment of the International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia in 1960. The NMEC will allow greater numbers of people than ever before to learn about and enjoy Egyptian civilization in the context of a modern, twenty-first century museum.
For more information: Tamara Teneishvili (t.teneishvili(at)unesco.org)
Links: Architect Arata Isozaki
UNESCO organizes training workshop for NMEC staff in Cairo