The American Research Center in Eygpt


Latest News about the Museum of Islamic Art

Oct 3, 2014

We are delighted to share that the Swiss Embassy in Cairo has made a contribution of 75,000 swiss francs (approximately $83,000) to assist ARCE with repairs to the exterior facade of the Museum of Islamic Art and Manuscript Library of the National Library and Archives of Egypt located in Historic Cairo.

What's Next for the ARCE Archive?

Aug 20, 2014

The ARCE archive represents a twenty-year partnership between the US and Egyptian governments for cultural heritage preservation in Egypt carried out with funding from USAID. It is the outcome and the record of an extraordinarily successful and sustained endeavor that has contributed more than any other international donor to maintaining some of the world’s most important heritage assets.




Unique Islamic art and manuscript collections and the museums that house them suffered infrastructure damage from bomb blast at Bab al Khalq. Photo: D. Deutsch

An early morning explosion on January 24, 2014 was an unfortunate reminder that Egypt has not yet returned to the level of stability preceding the ouster of the Mubarak regime in 2011. The explosion, aimed at the Cairo Security Directorate on Port Said Street in the historic district of Bab el-Khalq, caused few human casualties but significant damage was rendered to the world-class collections of Islamic Period art and manuscripts housed across the street in the Museum of Islamic Art and the Manuscript Library and Manuscript Museum of the National Library and Archives of Egypt.

It was so depressingly familiar, another attack on an Egyptian building housing valuable and irreplaceable pieces of historical and cultural heritage. The building, constructed in Neo-Mamlouk Style, is located in an area included on the UNESCO World Heritage List known as Bab el-Khalq. It was completed and inaugurated by Khedive Abbas II Hilmi in 1904. Today, the Museum of Islamic Art, managed by the Ministry of Antiquities and Heritage (MAH) occupies the ground floor and the upper floors house the Manuscript Library and Manuscript Museum collections of the National Library and Archives of Egypt (Dar el-Kotob), under the management of the Ministry of Culture. Both institutions have undergone extensive renovations in recent years and both boasted state of the art exhibition spaces, storage, research and conservation facilities.


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