Visit of the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt

The Egyptian delegation was headed by H.E. Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. The Minister met with Prof. Alojzy Nowak, Rector of the University of Warsaw, Dr. Anna Budzanowska, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the heads of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw and of the newly-established Faculty of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw, as well as with the representatives of the Polish archaeological community working in Egypt.

The minister was accompanied by H.E. Hosam Alkaweesh, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Poland, and H.E. Dr. Badr Abdel Ati, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs. Among the invited guests were Ms. Patrycja Özcan-Karolewska, director of the Department of Africa and the Middle East of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Jacek Górski, director of the Archaeological Museum in Krakow, Małgorzata Herbich from UNESCO-Poland, as well as archaeologists representing Polish institutions participating in research in Egypt. They included Prof. Jacek Kabaciński and Tomasz Herbich from the Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Marek Chłodnicki and Dr. Paweł Polkowski from the Archaeological Museum in Poznań and Prof. Krzysztof Ciałowicz from the Jagiellonian University, as well as representatives of the University of Warsaw.

It was the involvement of Polish researchers in the studies on the archaeology and history of Egypt that was the main reason and topic of this meeting. Among the attendees were the directors of more than 10 archaeological expeditions working in Egypt. These expeditions, conducted with the participation of scientists from various institutions, either operate under the auspices of the PCMA UW, or benefit from the assistance and facilities of the PCMA UW Research Centre in Cairo.

In his address, Minister El-Enany defined the role of foreign archaeological institutes in Egypt, such as the PCMA UW Research Centre in Cairo. As the Minister in charge of both tourism and archaeology, he reiterated the importance of research into Egypt’s antiquity for the development of tourism. He emphasized the importance of cooperation between archaeological institutes and the Ministry, which should aim at educating local professionals and preparing joint research and development strategies.

As declared by Dr. Artur Obłuski, the director of the PCMA UW, this is a vision that is in line with the plans of the PCMA UW for profiling the activities of its archaeological expeditions. In the following years, an even greater emphasis will be placed on the conservation of finds and on heritage management with a view to making it more easily accessible for visitors. The PCMA UW, together with other Polish institutions, will be actively involved in capacity building in terms of the management of archaeological heritage.

The meeting coincided with the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of archaeology at the University of Warsaw marked by the opening of the exhibition “Magna Scientia Antiquitatis” devoted to the history of UW’s archaeological research. A prominent place among the achievements highlighted by the exhibition is occupied by the results of the work carried out in Egypt.