Cairo: The Egyptian capital`s Museum of
Islamic Art -- the world`s largest -- was officially reopened
by President Hosni Mubarak today after an eight-year
However the public will still have to wait another two
weeks until the start of September to be able to view its 25
galleries containing 2,500 artefacts of great artistic or
historic value, chosen from some 100,000 items.
Culture Minister Faruq Hosni, who also attended the
official reopening after the USD 10 million renovation, said
the project had resulted in "a great change in the way the
works are exhibited, protected and lit."
Among the treasures on show are a gold-inlaid key to the
Kaaba, the massive building that houses the black stone in the
Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, and the oldest Islamic
dinar ever found, dating back to the year 697.
Rare manuscripts of the Koran can also be seen among
exhibits as diverse as Persian carpets, Ottoman-era ceramics
and ancient instruments used in the sciences of astronomy,
chemistry and architecture.
The 1903 building in central Cairo was originally built
to house and protect the country`s rich heritage from looters
Today`s opening of the museum comes during the first week
of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.