Entrance of the Conference Hall (Left: H.E. Minister Kinefuchi, Middle: Dr. Bassir, Director General of the GEM, Right: Mr. Matsunaga, Chief Representative of the JICA Egypt Office)

The Grand Egyptian Museum Conservation Center (GEM-CC), the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and the JICA GEM-CC Project together organized the second international symposium, titled “Conservation in Museums: Present and Future” on 2013/03/18 and 19 at “Le Mercure Sphinx Hotel near 3 Great Pyramids of Giza”.

The First Symposium of the GEM-CC was held in February, 2012 to introduce the roles and activities of the GEM-CC as well as to show the aspect of technical cooperation by JICA. During the First Symposium, the GEM-CC appealed the presence to the Egyptian and Japanese sides. So through the Second Symposium, the GEM-CC in cooperation with the JICA GEM-CC project was able to continue to have the precious experiences of organizing the Academic Symposium and present more expanded activities of the GEM-CC.

At the opening session of the 2nd Symposium, H.E. Minister KINEFUCHI and Mr. MATSUNAGA, Chief Representative of the JICA Egypt Office firstly gave complementary speech and then, Dr. Bassir, Director General of the GEM made the usual greetings to all the participants of the symposium. Furthermore, Dr. Hussien, Technical Director of the GEM launched the GEM-CC’s future vision and goals in this session. With JICA’s assistance to the training course on the Study Visit Program in Singapore (the GEM-CC Strategic Management Plan) and the relevant workshops in Cairo, the GEM-CC had defined clearly its vision as “a regional center of excellence for conservation and collection care” and its 7 objectives as manifested below.

The GEM-CC will;

  1. document, conserve and prepare GEM artifacts selected for display,
  2. be an international education, training, and research institute for conservation, museology, Egyptology, archeology, and tangible cultural heritage,
  3. have staffs who are trained to the highest level in conservation and collection care,
  4. provide technical support for Egypt’s tangible cultural heritage especially for the project of the SCA, the Ministry of State of Antiquities,
  5. collaborate on projects with international centers and institutions those have similar objectives,
  6. provide services in tangible cultural heritage for Egyptian and international organizations and,
  7. constantly explore innovative ways to communicate her projects and missions to Egyptian public and international community.

The opening session was concluded by Mr. Suzuki, Chief Advisor of the JICA GEM-CC Project, who gave the presentation and introduced the past and ongoing activities of the JICA GEM-CC Project.

The theme of 2nd Symposium was titled as “Conservation in Museums: Present and Future“, and 3 experts listed below were invited to the symposium as keynote speakers. All presentations of those keynote speakers were very informative and fruitful for the further development of the GEM-CC.

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Dr. Tsuneyuki MORITA: Professor Emeritus of the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan

Micro-climate Control in the Museum – Classic but New Difficulties

Prof. Dr. András MORGÓS: Head of Dendro-chronological Laboratory of The Hungarian National Museum, Hungary

Conservation of Dry Archeological Wood

Prof. Dr. Adel AKARESH: Professor of the Geological Sciences Department, National Research Centre, Egypt

Characterization of Some Inorganic Pigments and Plasters Used in the Old Kingdom, Saqqara Area, Egypt

Along with presentations of those three keynote speakers, nine papers were presented by the GEM-CC staffs for four different sessions, “Inorganic Conservation”, “Collection Management”, “Organic Management” and “Conservation Science”. Especially at the end of each session, discussions initiated by aforementioned three keynote speakers, the varying views and opinions were actively exchanged among the participants both from the GEM-CC and outside GEM-CC. Furthermore, eight posters were also presented in an entrance hole of a conference room to present the results of research conducted by the GEM-CC staffs. During the breaks, the authors of those academic posters described the contents to the spectators and the varying opinions and views were exchanged. It was the very informative opportunity for the presenters of papers and posters and participants of the GEM-CC to experience such occasions through this symposium.

In 2014, the 3rd Symposium will be held. For the next occasion, the GEM-CC is planning to invite much more academic papers from the Egyptian experts to improve the nature of the symposium itself to an international level. For development of the GEM-CC, this symposium has been playing so important role. The GEM-CC and the JICA GEM-CC project would like to ask further support from all the relevant institutions and people of this project.

Prof. Dr. Morita at the Entrance of the Conference Hall
Prof. Morgos and Prof. Matsuda, JICA Expert at the Entrance of the Conference Hall
Scene in the Conference Hall
Presentation about GEM-CC’s Strategic Management Plan by Dr. Hussien