The cooperation between India and Egypt in the field of antiquities will receive a boost as an Egyptian archaeologist is set travel to India to advice on the preservation of Egyptian mummies located in different Indian museums, India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya has said. Mummies conservation expert Rania Ahmed will be traveling to India by next month to give advice on preservation of six Egyptian mummies, which are located in different Indian museums, including the Indian Museum in Kolkata and museums in Jaipur, Maharashtra and other. “We are very happy that we have finally concluded the discussion for the travel of an Egyptian archaeologist to travel to India to look after and advice us on conversation and preservation of six Egyptian mummies that are in different museums in India,” Ambassador Bhattacharyya told PTI. “We had been very concerned for a long time about how to take care of these beautiful Egyptian objects and now with the help of Minister Khaled el-Anani, we have and agreement that an Egyptian expert will be traveling to India to do this, which is big development for us,” Bhattacharyya added.
The Ambassador also inaugurated a photography exhibition of the antiquity collection of the Museum of Islamic Arts entitled “Lens” at the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) yesterday. The exhibition is a result of a photography competition organised by The Museum of Islamic Art in cooperation with Adasa Club in Alexandria. More than 280 photographers participated in the competition, out of which the photos of 39 artists were selected for the exhibition.
“This cooperation with the Museum of Islamic Art is very special for the Indian Embassy. We have a population of 180 million Muslims in India who also have their art forms and the Museum of Islamic Arts has a few of these objects most particularly a couple of beautiful paintings from the Mogul period,” he said. Egypt’s Museum of Islamic Art is home to one of the world’s most important collections of Islamic artifacts. It was first opened in 1903, and was closed in January 2014 after a bomb attack on the Cairo police directorate across the street which severely damaged its facade and dozens of exhibits.
The Museum houses artifacts charting more than 1,300 years of Muslim civilisation in Egypt and includes pieces from throughout the Muslim world. Mohamed Abdel-Latif, the assistant minister of antiquities and head of Islamic and Coptic antiquity sector in the ministry of antiquities said during the opening of the exhibition that the Museum of Islamic Art contains Islamic antiquities from India like paintings from the Mogul era, wooden boxes and antiques made of stone.
“Perhaps this exhibition will be a start for a cultural cooperation in organising temporary exhibitions for antiquity which confirms the deep cultural relation between India and Egypt and build more cultural, artistic and scientific bridges between the two countries,” Abdel-Latif said. The exhibition shows 64 photos which features the glimpses of artworks in different stages of Islamic civilisation in different parts of the world. The photos include pottery, glassworks, manuscripts, jewelries, metals, weavings and Islamic arts.