The Coptic Museum in Cairo
The Coptic Museum in Cairo is located inside the ruins of the Roman Babylon Fort in Maser El Qadema in Coptic Cairo Center, an area which is full of Coptic Churches and chapels like the famous hanging Church and the Church of St Barbra.
Nobody would ever believe that the foundation of the Coptic Museum goes back to the era of the Persians and a lot of items were added afterwards by the Roman emperors August and Trajan. The famous French scientist Maspero played a major role in the establishment of the modern museum as he spent a long time collecting Coptic monuments from all around Egypt and preserving it.
The founder of the Museum in modern times is Smeka Pasha who requested that the items in the museum to be added to the Egyptian Committee for preserving antiquities and art. This man exerted huge efforts to found the building of the museum that is present right now and which was opened to the public in 1901 with Smeka as the first head of the Coptic Museum in Cairo.
The Coptic Museum today consists mainly of two major sections: the old section established by Smeka Pasha and the new the section that consists of two floors which was opened for the public in 2006 by the president Hosni Mubarak after a huge renovation and restoration period that its cost reached more than 30 million pounds because the museum was affected badly by the earth quake that struck Egypt in 1992. The museum now displays around 1600 items collected from various regions around Egypt and go back to different century in the Coptic history of Egypt and the Coptic Museum is considered to be a complete illustration of the Coptic history in Egypt
The first section of the old museum the visitor goes to is the Ahnasya section, Alnasya is a town that is near Beni Sweif to the South of Cairo and some Coptic Items were discovered in the area that go back to the third and forth century AD.
The second section is the Saqqara section where the ruins of the Monastery of St Armeia is located with a lot of rock structures and a lot of other items gathered from Monasteries from the Fayoum and Upper Egypt.