Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany was appointed on Sunday as the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism. Anany, 48, has been holding the position of minister of Antiquities for over three years since he was appointed in 23 March 2016.
Anany graduated from the faculty of tourism guidance and received his phD in Egyptology.
The ministry witnessed a noticeable flourish following Anany’s adopted policy, which mainly focused on increasing international attraction towards Egypt’s antiquities, through a number of temporary exhibits abroad, as well as activating Egyptian excavation missions work which led to a number of remarkable discoveries in the past two years.
Soon after Anany was appointed, Egypt witnessed the largest number of temporary exhibitions ever taken place at one time. This includes the most famed Tutankhamun belongings’ exhibition which triggered people’s Egyptomania in every country it visited, breaking records in some of them like France that listed it as the most visited cultural event in the country’s history.
There were a number of other temporary exhibitions like the Egyptian Sunken Secrets Exhibition that roamed three countries, and The Golden Treasures of the Pharaohs exhibition which also witnessed a huge success in the countries it visited over the past two years.
In a number of speeches, Anany explained his focus in reviving antiquities tourism, asserting that these exhibitions are the way of promoting tourism in Egypt and inviting people into exploring more of Egypt’s glorious ancient civilisation.
He further stressed several times that the on-display relics are Egypt’s message of safety, and peace to the world. Through his international visits and exhibition inaugurations, he highlighted that Egypt’s antiquities are the soft power that is capable of fighting terrorism.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which witnessed a jump in establishment at Anany’s three-year charge, is also expected to play a prominent role in tourism sector within the next few years. The museum, which is planned to open to the public in 2020, will host the complete collection of young Pharaoh Tutankhamun, some of which were never on display before.
The international travel guide book, Lonely Planet, named Cairo as the third top city that tourists should visit in 2020 due to the GEM’s inauguration.
Anany previously mentioned that the GEM is to be a key player in the revival of Egyptian tourism, especially through its planned gala opening celebration that the world’s leading presidents are to attend.
Through his years as Egypt’s minister of Antiquities, Anany also focused on renovating touristic sites that have been closed for decades due to their almost collapsing conditions. This includes the Bent Pyramid, which has been closed for 84 years, as well as Baron Empain palace after being closed for decades.
He also brought back the work of Egyptian excavation mission. For two years, 25 missions of all Egyptian archaeologists have been digging throughout various excavation seasons all across Egypt. As a result, the missions unearthed dozens of relics from different eras. Years 2018 and 2019 were dubbed the lucky years of the ministry as almost no week passed without the ministry announcing a new discovery, most of which were uncovered antiquities through Egyptian missions.
As the former director of the Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC), Anany also advocates inaugurating new museums in governorates and districts that never had one before. This includes Hurghada and Sharm EL-Sheikh Museums that are planned to open in 2020, as well as reopening Tanta Museum after 19 years of closure.