Four of the ITP Fellows have participated in a training programme at the Luxor Museum, one of the highlights of Egypt’s museums. The programme was organised by Luxor Museum in collaboration with ICOM-CIPEG and coordinated by Gehad Shawky, a curator at the Luxor Museum. Wesam Mohamed (ITP 2015), Ahmed Hemida (ITP 2016), Noor Hassan (ITP 2017) and Nagwa Bakr (2019) accounted for the fellows.
The programme ‘Museum Collection Management and Practice’ started on 26 January 2020, and included various formats such as presentations and on-site lectures. Both the lecturers and the participants were overwhelmed by the welcoming environment offered by the Luxor Museum team. The multiplicity of the topics discussed during the programme aimed to provide the audience with a wider understanding of how museums use their collections and how the collections can be represented through a variety of methods and structures.
Along with our ITP fellows, the programme was presented by a group of experts from different museums, and with the photographic talent, Mohamed Samah, Inspector of Antiquities. It began with a review on the history of the Luxor Museum given by Dr Alaa Hassan, the Director of the Luxor Museum. The ICOM standards for collection management was presented by Dr Gabriele Pieke, the Head of the Ancient Egyptian Collection at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museenand Former Chair of ICOM-CIPEG. Damietta University was represented by Dr Mohamed Gamal Rashed – also a board member of ICOM-CIPEG – who discussed the roles and responsibilities of museum curators in addition to the basics of museum management.
The Luxor Museum
Connecting the discussion more and more to the city of Luxor, Gehad Shawky presented her work on developing the Luxor Museum. Besides, the exceptional case of the Karnak Open-Air Museum was introduced by Dr Mostafa AlSaghir, General Director of Karnak Temples, who also led the audience through an on-site lecture dedicated to exploring the history, current situation, and his new plans for the Open-Air Museum.
Here are some reflections on the training programme by the ITP fellows:
Wessam Mohamed (ITP 2015): “It was a pleasant opportunity to participate in the training programme at the Luxor Museum with some of my favourite colleagues and ITP fellows. Since my lecture was on the first day of the program, I preferred to speak to the audience about the international standards of collecting for museums; focusing on both the legal and ethical framework. Most of the audience were university students. For this reason, I decided to widen the scale and discuss different types of museum collections rather than the long and exclusive focus on archaeology in Egypt. The aim is to enrich the cultural scene in Egypt by adding a wide range of different types of museums in the future.”
Noor Hassan (ITP 2017): “My lecture focused on the registration and documentation process of museum objects. Thus, I had bought some souvenirs in the shape of well-known ancient Egyptian artifacts to use them as hands-on practice. I have had a great time in Luxor photographing and meeting colleagues, friends and heritage professionals throughout the training. Moreover, I had a chance to visit many archaeological sites such as the Valley of the Kings, El-Deir El-Bahri Temple, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temples and the Mummification Museum which I found great.
Ahmed Hemida (ITP 2016): “I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues from the ITP at the Luxor Museum, where we each provided workshops and lectures on the process for the museum’s staff and students specialising in museology. It was a good occasion for me to speak about the challenges facing Egyptian regional museums, and the ways to solve these problems, aside from speaking about my own experience in the rehabilitation of the Mallawi Museum after unfortunate events of its violation. As we share the same ideas, we shall soon present a joint programme dealing with the issue.
Nagwa Bakr (ITP 2019): “I have participated in a theoretical lecture and practical training concerning collection management and its relationship with the public, and I was able to transfer the ITP experience and share it with my ITP peers. We partook various discussions about the future of museums in Egypt, in addition to some practical workshops presented to a group of the Damietta University students. The training was not limited to the lectures only. We visited several archaeological sites in Luxor and attended sound and light. I visited Aswan for a day and met Yasser Abdel Rady ITP 2019 at the Nubia Museum. We also had a quick visit to the lovely Nubian village.”