thu 02/04/2020

theartsdesk in Cairo: Old Bones, New Coffins | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk in Cairo: Old Bones, New Coffins

theartsdesk in Cairo: Old Bones, New Coffins

Egypt's capital has many treasures from its past, but little sign of a flourishing future

'Man with a Sword Belt' from the FaiyumBritish Museum

The Egyptian Government is investing in the arts, which would normally be a cause for celebration. However, in building the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, it feels like the country’s cultural budget is being spent on another new display case for its past rather than on encouraging a contemporary arts scene. The NMEC, which was first mooted in 1982 (the year after Sadat was assassinated, if that signifies anything today), will open this year in south-east Cairo, after seven years of construction, nine years since the foundation stone was laid.

The Egyptian Government is investing in the arts, which would normally be a cause for celebration. However, in building the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, it feels like the country’s cultural budget is being spent on another new display case for its past rather than on encouraging a contemporary arts scene. The NMEC, which was first mooted in 1982 (the year after Sadat was assassinated, if that signifies anything today), will open this year in south-east Cairo, after seven years of construction, nine years since the foundation stone was laid.

With so much of significance and beauty on display, you nevertheless feel more like you are at the first day of the Harrods sale

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