sábado, 5 de diciembre de 2009

The three day Egypt symposium, last weekend in Toronto, yielded a number of interesting finds

La semana pasada se celebraron, en el Cairo, los 102 años de excavaciones húngaras en Tebas, Luxor.

Thursday we held a colloquium at the SCA offices in Zamalek, and Friday night we opened an exhibit at the Cairo Museum of pieces excavated by Hungarian teams in Thebes. These events occurred in conjunction with the Hungarian Culture Week in Cairo.
On Thursday we held a conference on Theban archaeology at the offices of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Zamalek. I opened the conference with a talk about the archaeological relations between Egypt and Hungary. Then there were talks by Egyptologists from around the world, including many Hungarian scholars, about work in the Theban necropolis.

Over the past 2 years, we have had the opportunity to commemorate archaeological cooperation between Egypt and many other countries. These events are associated with temporary exhibits at the Cairo Museum that display the results of the collaborations. We have had exhibits featuring work with the United States, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Japan, and other countries. We usually pick an anniversary of some kind to observe, such as 50, 75, or 100 years of cooperation. This year marked 102 years of Hungarian work in the Theban necropolis, which is an important event. Friday night we held an event to celebrate this relationship between Hungary and Egypt.

When we open these exhibits, we make a grand celebration in the garden in front of the Cairo Museum, near the memorial for Auguste Mariette. We invite dignitaries from the two countries to make speeches about the cooperation. We also invite musicians and performers from each country to share their traditional music and perform in the garden, as a sign of our mutual respect and interest. Friday we had a group of Hungarian musicians, each playing a different instrument, who performed a few traditional Hungarian songs. The Hungarian folk music was very good, everyone who came enjoyed it.

The celebration of Friday was wonderful. It was opened by Dr. István Hiller, the Minister of Education and Culture of Hungary, who came to Egypt especially for this event. We also heard speeches from Dr. Peter Kveck, the Ambassador of Hungary, and Farouk Hosni, the Minister of Culture of Egypt. I also spoke about how glad I am that Egypt and Hungary have been able to have productive archaeological relations for over a century. I mentioned the new project that was announced during President Mubarak´s recent visit to Hungary. It is a new underwater archaeology project at the temples of Kom Ombo and Esna that will be very important, and we hope will further the cooperation between Egypt and Hungary.

After the speeches and music, we open the exhibit, which contains artefacts found through the excavations of each team in Egypt. This exhibit was unique in that all of the objects came from one area- the West Bank of Luxor, most objects came from private tombs there. Hungarian teams have been excavating, cleaning, recording and doing conservation and restoration work in this area for 102 years. Their work has uncovered many important artefacts, such as coffins, canopic jars, statues, pottery, and other artefacts, which will be on display in the Cairo Museum until January.

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