CAIRO: Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail inaugurated Sunday the Nile Museum which features the history of irrigation in Egypt’s modern period, Youm7 reported.
Located nearby the 1902 Aswan Dam, the three-storey museum was built on an area of 146,000 square meters.
The museum’s first floor features artifacts and manuscripts related to the construction of the Aswan Dam and the High Dam, which were built in 1902 and 1971, respectively. It also sheds light on the history of Irrigation in Egypt during the Mohamed Ali Dynasty (1805-1952),” Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy said during the inauguration ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by Egypt’s ministers of tourism, antiquities, irrigation and culture, as well as Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Cairo and diplomatic delegations from 11 African countries, according to Youm7.
The museum is entirely built of rose granite quarried from Aswan with a total cost estimated at 82 million EGP ($10) million, the minister added. The inauguration coincides with the 45th anniversary of the opening of the High Dam on Jan. 15, 1971.
The second floor of the museum features artifacts and costumes representing cultures and traditions of the peoples of the Nile Basin countries, Moghazy said, adding that the ministry allocated a corner at the museum to the Nile Basin states to showcase artifacts representing the Nile’s impact on their customs, heritage and daily life.
Farouk Farrag, head of the Tourism Promotion Authority in Aswan, told The Cairo Post the authority currently coordinates with the ministries of tourism and antiquities along with the Egyptian Travel Agents Association in order to include the new museum in travel itineraries.
In 1964, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev marked the first stage of the High Dam’s construction when the course of the Nile was diverted. The dam was financed and built with Soviet help.
The High Dam was built to end floods and droughts in the unpredictable Nile, and to create hydroelectricity. The project was initiated in 1960 and inaugurated by Nasser’s successor, President Anwar Sadat in 1971.