As I reported last week, I have been very impressed by the apparently instinctive decision on the part of a large number of protestors in Tahrir Square to risk their safety, maybe their lives, to form a human chain around the Egyptian Museum to prevent looters from escaping and to prevent any more looters from breaking in to the museum.
This struck me as extraordinary.
Yesterday, when the museum reopened, the few visitors who went to the museum were met with museum staff people who welcomed them with roses.
People often ask me the question; “What is a Great Museum?”
I now have a new answer to that question.
The Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, is a great museum.
From The New York Times:
Egypt Reopens Museums and Historical Sites
By RANDY KENNEDY
Egypt has reopened many of its museums and historical sites, which were hit by sporadic looting during the uprising that led to President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, Reuters reported.
On Sunday, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, which is just off Tahrir Square and which served as an embattled backdrop during the protests, opened its doors again, and museum workers handed roses to the few visitors who came to see its treasures. The galleries of the museum, which are usually bustling, were nearly empty throughout the day, however, as tourism continues to suffer in the wake of the unrest, Reuters added.
“It was very important for us to open the museum to stop the rumors like ‘the mask of King Tutankhamun was stolen’ or there had been an orgy of looting,” said Tarek El Awady, the museum’s director. “This is a chance for visitors to see for themselves.”