A brief overview about the Ministry of Antiquities
God has distinguished Egypt with an advantage that is not available to any country on the whole world, where Egypt has a cultural heritage that is rooted in the depths of history, which is stretching for thousands of years, leaving a huge cultural asset that produced a strong and cohesive people of one fabric capable of confronting the ravages of the ages. Egypt presented the world Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic cultural heritage, which is unparalleled in any part of the world. As Herodotus mentioned in his book on Egypt, the Egyptians care about their history and heritage. As an extension of our ancestors' interest, the Ministry of Antiquities is preserving this wonderful cultural heritage.
In 1858, Sa'id Pasha ratified to the establishment of the Antiquities Authority, which was officially called the "Antiquities Authority". In 1956, with the evacuation of the British occupation forces, the Antiquities Authority became completely an Egyptian Government Organization. The Antiquities Authority was under the Ministries of Public Works, Education, National Guidance and Culture; respectively). In 1971, the Antiquities Authority was transferred to the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, and the name was changed from the Egyptian Antiquities Organization to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, by virtue of the Presidential Decree Number 82 of the year 1994.
In 2011, the Supreme Council of Antiquities became independent from the Ministry of Culture to become the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs. In 2015, the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs turned to the Ministry of Antiquities.
Structure of the current ministry
Antiquities Protection Act
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, there was no legislation concerning the antiquities trade in Egypt. There were thousands of artifacts such as jewelry, statues, engravings and even entire monuments that had been taken away from their original environment to join private collections or various groups of museums around the world. The Western passion for Egyptian antiquities began with the advent of the French Campaign (1798-1801) and the publication of successive volumes of the book "Describing of Egypt" which created a global interest in Egypt and its ancient monuments.
The first step to limit smuggling the Egyptian antiquities outside the country was on August 15, 1835, when Mohamed Ali Pasha, governor of Egypt, issued a decree prohibiting the export and trade of all Egyptian antiquities. This decree also included the construction of a building in al- Azbekiya Park in Cairo as a house for preservation of monuments.
The Antiquities Protection Law No. 117 of 1983, as amended by Law No. 3 of 2010 and Law No. 61 of 2010 and the current Law No. 91 of 2018, was issued..