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Treasures of ancient Egypt draw 15,000

AROUND 15,000 people have already visited the Treasures of Ancient Egypt Exhibition at the Bahrain National Museum, officials have revealed.Acting director Fuad Noor declared the event a huge success and said it was one of the highest attendance figures the museum has achieved.

He said nearly all public and private schools in Bahrain had visited the exhibition and the display had also attracted people from across the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Bahrain became the first country in the Arab world and North Africa to hold an exhibition of Egyptian antiquities when the event was launched by Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa in April.

"Until now we have had something like 15,000 visitors, which is good as there is an admission fee," said Mr Noor.

"The summer vacation is coming up and we should have a lot of visitors from the Gulf, so considering that and the number we have had already, I think we will probably reach 20,000."

The GDN earlier received letters from families arguing that the BD5 admission price was too high, but Mr Noor said the fee was fixed by the Egyptian government body the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), which helped bring the exhibition to Bahrain.

He said the cost was standard across the industry for such an important show, which featured relics from the days of the pharaohs, including King Tutankhamun.

The exhibition cost $1.73 million (BD653,940) to insure and a series of strict 24-hour security measures had been put in place to protect the exhibits, including security guards and CCTV cameras.

Treasurers of Ancient Egypt, being held under the patronage of the Premier, features 122 objects dating back thousands of years.

The oldest artefacts date back to 2,600 BC during the time of Pharaoh Snefru, who built the first real pyramid and whose son, Khufu, built the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Other pieces come from the time of ancient Egyptian King Ramses II (1304-1237 BC).

Artefacts found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen (1347-1338 BC), the only tomb found completely intact, are also on display.

The Venture Capital Bank, Gulf Air and the Culture and National Heritage Directorate are sponsoring the exhibition.

The exhibition runs daily from 8am to 8pm until July 31.

geoff@gdn.com.bh



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