International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property

Egypt


N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State.* Uploaded in June 2020

General Country data

The main cultural assets of Egypt

Egypt has a great ancient civilization dating back to the year 3150 BC. This rich history encompasses the unique footprints left by successive civilization throughout time, serving as witnesses to the greatness of the Egyptian civilization as a whole. From the ancient Egyptian, Greek Roman, Coptic and Islamic monuments to the modern era, the architectural and artistic tendency varies between pyramids, temples, cemeteries, obelisks, houses of worship and palaces – each bearing its distinctive character and aesthetics. Egypt is also celebrated for its age-old construction techniques, clearly evident in the sophisticated stature of its temples and cemeteries, the prominent architects it has produced and, of course, the unparalleled grandeur of the Egyptian pyramids. The country’s textile and pottery industries were equally renowned, reflected in the detailed artwork that embellished Pharaonic monuments.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

Antiquities Protection Law No. 117 of 1983, amended by Law No. 3 of 2010, Law No. 61 of 2010 and Law No. 91 of 2018 and the executive regulations of this law are one of the most important Egyptian laws to be enacted with successive amendments to achieve the legal framework needed to protect Egyptian antiquities and heritage. It also serves as the first deterrent of thefts, illegal excavation and the smuggling of antiquities. In its articles, the law includes a clear definition of the word antiquities, indicating the conditions that must be met to achieve this recognition, as well as all the legislation that protects antiquities, archaeological sites, and buffer zones and organizes archaeological work.

The National Organization for Urban Harmony sets out conditions, which have been activated since 2011, to protect historic Cairo. Under Act 144 of 2006 and conditions of outstanding-value areas approved by the Supreme Council for Planning and Urban Development, the National Body registers and safeguards non-registered buildings of outstanding value as monuments within the above mentioned areas. The National Organization for Urban Harmony is concerned with buildings of outstanding value. It has created a geographical database for such buildings and has published it on the internet.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

The various forms of Egyptian heritage is well represented on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Egypt is registered on the List through 7 sites, 6 sites of cultural heritage, namely:

  • Abu Mina inscribed on 1979, inscribed on WHL in danger on 2001
  • Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis inscribed on 1979
  • Historic Cairo inscribed on 1979
  • Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramids fields from Giza to Dahshour inscribed on 1979
  • Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae inscribed on 1979
  • Saint Catherine Area inscribed on 2002

One natural heritage site:

  • Wadi Al-Hitan (whale Valley) inscribed on 2005

Intangible cultural heritage

Cultural Practices and Expressions of Intangible Cultural Heritage, inscribed on the UNESCO 2003 Convention’s Lists:

  • Al-Tahtib, stick game, inscribed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016
  • Traditional Hand Puppet (Al-Aragouz) inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2018
  • The joint Arab file The Date Palm: Knowledge, Skills & Traditions & Practices, inscribed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in participation of 14 Arab countries in 2019
  • Celebrations in Relation to the Holy Family Tour in Egypt, nominated on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2020)
  • The joint Arab file The Arts of Arabic Calligraphy: Skills, Knowledge and Practices, nominated on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (16 Arab countries) (2020)


Adhesion to ICCROM

Egypt is a Member State of ICCROM since 05/11/1959

Within ICCROM

Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

  • 1986-1988: Abd Allah Abdel El Attar
  • 2008-2011: Marcelle Takla
  • 2014-2021: Gihane Zaki

ICCROM Staff since 1959: 2

Involvement of Egyptian Nationals

Activities in/with Egypt since 2002


Activities details

Activities details


  • 2002 - 2 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2005 - 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2006 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2007 - 1 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2008 - 4 Mission(s)
  • 2009 - 3 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2010 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2011 - 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2012 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2014 - 5 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2015 - 1 Course(s), 3 Mission(s)
  • 2016 - 1 Course(s)
  • 2017 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2018 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2019 - 2 Course(s), 1 Mission(s)


External links

Governmental Cultural Institutions

Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions


* ICCROM reserves the right to moderate the content provided by Member States for country profiles to ensure that they remain within the scope of ICCROM’s mission and pertinent to cultural heritage. However, ICCROM does not take responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the content supplied. The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the Member States.