Egyp­tian art through the ages

SHOW­ING THE BEST OF THE COUN­TRY’S CON­TEM­PO­RARY AND AN­CIENT WORKS ‘This ini­tia­tive shows that artis­tic cre­ativ­ity spans mil­len­nia reach­ing today.’

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Cairo

Paint­ings by top Egyp­tian artists shared wall space with hi­ero­glyphs and Pharaonic relics at Cairo’s Egyp­tian Mu­seum this week in an ex­hi­bi­tion high­light­ing an­cient in­flu­ences on con­tem­po­rary art.

Artists, in­tel­lec­tu­als and am- bas­sadors from around the world at­tended the Satur­day night open­ing of “A Night with Art at the Egyp­tian Mu­seum”, or­gan­ised by the pri­vate Art D’Egypte or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We wanted to high­light the link be­tween con­tem­po­rary art and an­cient Egyp­tian Pharaonic art,” said Art D’Egypte founder Na­dine Ab­del Ghaf­far.

The modern paint­ings in­cluded ab­stract por­traits and other works by prom­i­nent con­tem­po­rary Egyp­tian artists such as Adel El Siwi, Mo­hamed Abla, Ghada Amer, Farouk Hosny and Hoda Lotfi.

“This ini­tia­tive shows that artis­tic cre­ativ­ity spans mil­len­nia reach­ing today,” said Abla, who showed five paint­ings at the ex­hi­bi­tion, re­flect­ing an­cient Egyp­tian in­flu­ences.

“Con­tem­po­rary art is an ex­ten­sion of art by the Pharaonic an­ces­tors,” he said.

The show also in­cludes in­ter­ac­tive sem­i­nars on an­cient Egyp­tian art and its in­flu­ences on con­tem­po­rary artists.

Sev­eral prom­i­nent ar­chae­ol­o­gists and Egyp­tol­o­gists are to speak, in­clud­ing former an­tiq­ui­ties min­is­ter Zahi Hawass.

An­tiq­ui­ties Min­is­ter Khaled al-Anani said it was im­por­tant to pre­serve Egyp­tian her­itage “be­cause the an­tiq­ui­ties be­long to the en­tire world”.

The age­ing Egyp­tian mu­seum, which is un­der­go­ing ren­o­va­tion, was a key tourist at­trac­tion be­fore a Jan­uary 2011 upris­ing top­pled dic­ta­tor Hosni Mubarak.

Vis­i­tors would wait in long lines out­side its en­trance, while the halls in­side brimmed with for­eign tourists and Egyp­tian vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing stu­dents on school trips.

But Mubarak’s ouster un­leashed years of politi­cal tur­moil and sent tourist num­bers plum­met­ing.

Dur­ing the upris­ing, which was cen­tred in Tahrir Square just out­side the mu­seum, loot­ers broke into the build­ing, steal­ing and dam­ag­ing sev­eral an­cient trea­sures. – AFP

Pic­ture: AFP

EYE- CATCH­ING. Art in­stal­la­tions on dis­play at the Egyp­tian Mu­seum dur­ing the Night of Art ex­hi­bi­tion in the cap­i­tal Cairo.

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