Exhibition on history of Suez Canal to open this month in Paris

The Arab World Institute in Paris will host a large exhibition about the 4000-year history of Egypt’s Suez Canal on the 26th of March, reviewing the adventures and stages of the important waterway.

The exhibition, “Suez Canal epic: from the pharaohs to the 21st century,” includes photographs, antiques and recorded films telling the history of Egypt and the canal since the pharaonic civilization through the digging of the new Suez Canal.

Claude Mollard, general supervisor of the exhibition, said the idea had been raised since the visit of former French president Francois Hollande to Egypt in August 2015 to participate in the opening ceremony of the new Suez Canal. The exhibition coincides with the approaching 150 anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal.

Speaking at a press conference held at the French Cultural Institute in Cairo, Mollard said the decision was made during President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s last visit to Paris last year during which he discussed with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron the details of the exhibition.

The exhibition will highlight the opening of the modern Suez Canal in 1869 and the nationalization of it in 1956 by the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

He added that the exhibition also will review Queen Hatshepsut’s trip to Puntland during the ancient Egyptian civilization to highlight Egypt’s connection with the outside world.

“Rare pictures of the opening ceremony and prototypes of the Statue of Liberty, which was to be sent to Egypt at the opening, but was [instead] sent to New York,” said Mollard.

He revealed that the French authorities’ spoke with their Egyptian counterparts to transfer the exhibition to Egypt in 2019 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary, which will be done in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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