CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities unveiled a renovated wing of its oldest museum on Monday, home to a 16-metre-long scroll unearthed last year.
The refurbishment marks the first stage of broader renovations for the 120-year-old salmon-coloured palatial complex in downtown Cairo, opposite the capital’s famed Tahrir Square.
Waziry Papyrus, the centrepiece of Monday’s unveiling, contains around 113 spells from the Book of the Dead. The museum also has added modern glass protection and new interior lighting.
The opening ceremony of the upgraded wing was led by Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Eissa.
For well over a decade, Egypt has been building a state-of-the-art museum near the pyramids which is set to house tens of thousands of ancient artefacts. The Grand Egyptian Museum has so far cost over USD1 billion and its opening date has been repeatedly delayed.
Egypt often publicly touts ancient discoveries to attract more tourists, a major source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped North African country. The sector suffered a long downturn after the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising.