CAIRO: Forty-seven artifacts have been restored, out of 179 damaged in the bomb attack near the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in January, the head of the restoration department at the Antiquities Ministry, Hamdy Abdel Moneim announced in a press conference Sunday.
Abdel Moneim, who heads the team of archaeologists tasked with the restoration of the artifacts, said the restoration of another 37 artifacts is in progress while the rest will be restored during the next few months.
Present at the conference was Dr. Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, United Arab Emirates Minister of State who expressed the “keenness of the UAE’s government to safeguard Egypt’s heritage” and support the ongoing development projects.
“The UAE will fund the restoration of the MIA and the damaged artifacts to return it to its original state, in cooperation with reputable archaeology and renovation centers in Europe and the United States,” Jaber said.
A delegation from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is scheduled for an inspection visit to Egypt in order to overview the MIA’s structural damages and suggest ideas for the required restoration, Damaty said.
In January, UNESCO director Irina Bokova granted $100,000 to restore the MIA.
The museum, which was built in 1881, is the oldest building purposefully built to display Islamic art and houses one of the world’s richest collection of Islamic history artifacts.
It was under restoration for eight years before it was opened for public in 2009, two years before the start of the January 25 Revolution.
It housed over 1,700 artifacts dating back to different Islamic eras before it was hit by a severe explosion in January.
The explosion, which targeted Cairo’s security directorate facing the museum, caused extensive damage to its main building, smashed its facade and covered its artifacts on display with debris.