Egypt's Islamic museum reopened three years after terror attack

Egypt's Islamic museum reopened three years after terror attack
Cairo's Museum of Islamic Art has been reopened three years after it was damaged by a car bombing.
2 min read
21 January, 2017

Egypt's historic Museum of Islamic Art in central Cairo has reopened three years after a car bombing partially destroyed the building.

The museum's reopening was officially inauguarated by top officials on Wednesday, with a guided tour for selected guests the following day.

It was opened to the public on Friday, and visitors access will be free of charge until 28 January, according to antiquities minister Khaled al-Enany.

The museum, which boasts about 100,000 relics including a sword said to have belonged to the Prophet Mohamed, holds one of the largest Islamic civilisation collections in the world.

It displays priceless Islamic artwork from all periods of Islamic history, including one of the rarest copies of the Quran.

''Every piece is a work of art when you look at the details,'' said American University of Cairo Professor Shahenda Karim, who led the tour.

The building had suffered significant damage after a massive car bomb went off outside nearby police headquarters in January 2014, in an attack claimed by Egyptian extremists.

The blast damaged 179 relics, including glass lanterns from the era of the Mamluks, the slave warrior caste that directly ruled Egypt from the 13th to the 16th centuries.

According to Enany, who described the inauguration as a ''victory by Egypt against terrorism'', 160 relics have been restored.

Three new exhibit rooms have been built, with the museum now showing 4,400 relics, from more than 1,450 before the bombing, he said.

Several countries have funded the restoration, including the United Arab Emirates, which contributed about $8 million, and the United Nations cultural organisation UNESCO.