Leaving Khartoum, I made a stop in Cairo on my way north. The need to locate at the Coptic Museum the manuscripts discovered at Qasr el Wizz by the Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition brought me again to that very special part of the Egyptian capital that is Old Cairo.
There, I visited both yesterday and today the Coptic museum, an amazing depository of treasures of Coptic art and literacy, housing the most impressive exhibition of the kind.
The area is easily reached by the metro and the museum lies right in front of the exit of the stop called Mar Girgis. The name is taken by the Greek Orthodox Church next to it, which today is under reparation.
Turning my back to the churches and the museum, I noticed the sign of the Cairo metro with surprise.
I guess by now there is no need to explain the interest to the readers of our blog. For the new comers see HERE.
It is only four stops with the metro from Mar Girgis to Sadat, the heart of the city where Tahrir square lies. It was the first time to come to the area since the demonstrations started, but the atmosphere these two days (I underline “days” and not “nights”) seemed rather peaceful.
In the vicinity of Tahrir, I concluded my tasks related to the Wizz project with a very important meeting at the Organization for the Salvage of the Monuments of Nubia.
There, our colleague from the UNESCO office in Cairo, Costanza de Simone, accompanied me to a meeting with Dr. Mahmoud Elshendidy, the director of the Nubia sector in the Ministry of Antiquities. He showed a genuine interest in the details of the Qasr el Wizz project and he guarantees the smooth progress of all bureaucratic procedures so as to manage to complete the research in both Cairo and Aswan a.s.a.p.
It is with gratitude from what I gained in these two days that I say goodbye to Cairo for now, looking forward to returning for the final part of my research on the Wizz material both in the Coptic museum here, as well as in the Nubian museum at Aswan.