Colonial visions: Egyptian antiquities and contested histories in the Cairo Museum

Christina Riggs

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    During the Egyptian revolution in January 2011, the antiquities museum in Tahrir Square became the focus of press attention amid claims of looting and theft, leading Western organizations and media outlets to call for the protection of Egypt’s ‘global cultural heritage’. What passed without remark, however, was the colonial his- tory of the Cairo museum and its collections, which has shaped their postcolonial tra- jectory. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Cairo museum was a pivotal site for demonstrating control of Egypt on the world stage through its antiqui- ties. More than a century later, these colonial visions of ancient Egypt, and its place in museums, continue to exert their legacy, not only in the challenges faced by the Egyptian Antiquities Museum at a crucial stage of redevelopment, but also in terms of museological practice in the West.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-84
    Number of pages20
    JournalMuseum Worlds: Advances in Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

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