Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1270, (12 - 18 November 2015)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1270, (12 - 18 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Mansoura Museum restored

After five years of restoration, the Mansoura National Museum has been officially reopened to the public, writes Nevine El-Aref

Al-Ahram Weekly

On Port Said Street, overlooking the Mansoura Nile Corniche, stands the Mansoura National Museum. After five years of restoration and development, the museum is now once again proudly welcoming visitors.

Known as the Dar Ibn Lockman (House of Lockman), the museum tells the story of the military struggle and resistance to the French military expedition to Egypt led by French King Louis IX in 1249 CE. Forty-five works of art by 150 artists including oil paintings, watercolours, photographs, statues and ceramics are displayed in two main halls.

The museum building was constructed in 1218 as the house of the city’s then-chief judge, Fahrul-Din Ibn Al-Qadi.

Hamdi Abul-Maati, head of the Fine Arts Department at the Ministry of Culture, explained that the museum is composed of two parts. One is the Ibn Lockman House, where Louis IX was kept prisoner after the failure of his expedition.

The second is the museum itself, where the statues and paintings are exhibited. There is also an art gallery that will host temporary art exhibitions, cultural evenings and seminars.

Abul-Maati said the museum was opened in 1997 and closed in 2010 for restoration. With a budget of LE420,000, the restoration project included the repair of walls and floors, as well as installation of lighting and security systems. The exhibition design was also changed and developed in a way to highlight the pieces on display.

The museum includes a collection of objects, the most important of which are Louis IX’s metal helmet and a chair he used while he was held prisoner.

There are statues and busts of Louis IX and Prince Turan Shah, his capturer, along with a map showing the route of the invasion launched by French Crusaders based in Mansoura and the Dakahlia governorate.

Oil paintings depict the Battle of Faraskour, Louis IX’s capture and a major battle that took place in the city of Mansoura.

“It is one of the city’s landmarks and highlights a very important chapter in Egyptian history and the struggle against invaders,” Abul-Maati told Al-Ahram Weekly, adding that the museum plays a contemporary role by helping to encourage artistic endeavours in Mansoura.

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