The Prince Muhammad Ali Museum in the nation’s capital has unveiled a temporary exhibition including 70 antiques that were captured at Egyptian ports and kept from being smuggled out of the country. The artifacts were stored in museum storage until they were recently retrieved by the Central Administration of Ports and Archaeological Units. These artifacts belonged to the Muhammad Ali Pasha Dynasty, the ruling dynasty of Egypt and Sudan from the 19th to the mid-20th century, and most are on display for the first time.
The Prince Muhammad Ali Museum, also known as Al Manial Palace, alone has approximately 25,000 objects in its storerooms that only come out during temporary exhibitions and special celebrations. The museum is planning to display these items permanently in 15 halls that are currently being renovated.
Director of the ministry’s antiquities repatriation division Shaaban Abdelgawad stated that between 2011 and 2021, Egypt retrieved 29,300 unlawfully smuggled artifacts. If anything, this demonstrates that Egypt has stepped up its efforts to stop antiquities from leaving the nation and to repatriate those that have been abroad illegally, especially during the past decade.
Additionally, the exhibition will include a lecture on Prince Muhammad Ali and the palaces of the museum, as well as several guided tours and educational seminars for those who are interested in learning more about the museum and its collections.
We must emphasize though that the 119th anniversary of the palace’s founding is being commemorated by the exhibition, which we must describe as a precious heritage. The pieces shown in the seized antiquities exhibition include the golden cradle of King Farouk, made of gilded wood and engraved with his monogram. It was seized in the cargo village at Cairo International Airport in 2010. Another painted European-style porcelain table depicting two women watching three men playing musical instruments was discovered in a furniture container at Damietta seaport.