CAIRO – 16 August 2018: The Sohag National Museum received a large number of visitors a few days after it had been inaugurated by President Abdel Fatah al-Sision Sunday,Elham Salah, head of the museums sector in the Ministry of Antiquities, announced on Tuesday.
Salah referred that the museum’s staff and trained volunteers have accompanied visitors during their tour inside the museum to provide them with information on the artifacts.
She further explained that the huge head of King Ramses II; the remains of the archaeological site, Abydos; and a decree dating back to 243 BC are the most important artifacts presented in the museum.
In 1989, the foundational stones of this museum were first placed. In 1991, the designs and architectural drawing began and the first contractor received the project in 1993. The project was set to be completed in 1995 but because the museum’s launch was halted several times due to technical and interior design issues as well as the lack of financial resources, its completion was delayed.
In 2016, work resumed on the museum, and finally the museum was completed in 2018.
“The Sohag National Museum (SNM) is not just a regional museum that the Ministry of Antiquities is opening in an Upper Egyptian province; the museum is part of the country’s strategy to improve Upper Egyptian governorates and develop their resources,” Minister of Antiquities Khaled el-Anany told Al-Ahram Weekly.
The museum, spanning over 8,700 square meters, was established to look like a two-story ancient Egyptian sanctuary, overlooking the Nile with a dock for boats. Five huge statues of the lion goddess Sekhmet are placed at the entrance of the museum.
Although Sohag governorate possesses plenty of historical archaeological sites, valuable rare monuments and distinguished landmarks from the ancient Egyptian era, as well as the Ptolemaic, Graeco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras, it was rarely visited.
The museum will portray the Egyptian identity through highlighting the changes that occurred in Upper Egypt generally and Sohag particularly.The museum will show six aspects of life in Egypt throughout different eras, focusing on family, the different cooking methods and cuisine, beliefs and religion, employment, and handicrafts.
Additional Report by AngyEssam