The extraordinary idea of housing a museum of antiquities within the cultural complex of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was born when several exquisite pieces dating back to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras were discovered during the excavation works at the construction site of the Library.
The BA Antiquities Museum is one of the few museums in the world that displays artifacts discovered at the self-same location of the museum.
The Museum was officially inaugurated on 16 October 2002. Its collections were carefully selected to reflect the rich, multi-cultural history of Egypt with its Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic heritage, with special emphasis on Alexandria and the Hellenistic period. The Museum houses 1133 pieces, which include two unique collections:
- The artifacts found during the excavation works on the construction site (1993-1995)
- Underwater Antiquities hauled up from the Mediterranean seabed near the Eastern Harbour and the Bay of Abukir.
Established in 2001, the mission of the Museum is to promote research and creativity through different programs and activities. It aims to give its visitors a glimpse of the different eras of Egypt’s history, and to raise the cultural awareness of young people by presenting a variety of educational programs.
The Antiquities Museum is designed in a very modern way, using the most sophisticated techniques, such as special optic lighting systems suitable for the exhibits, and theft alarm and fire fighting systems. Recently, the Museum’s Descriptive Labels were translated into French, besides Arabic and English, to serve all francophone visitors.
With a database of more than 1,000 ancient monuments, the BA Antiquities Museum is the first museum in Egypt to display most of its holdings online in Arabic, English and French. Users can navigate through the different sections to view historical and artistic introductions on the era to which the antiquities belong. Website visitors can also have a virtual tour in the different halls of the Museum, and view panoramic photographs of the various sections.
More information is available on: http://antiquities.bibalex.org/home/index.aspx?lang=en