The antiquities minister has asked Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri to intervene to assign custodianship of the land plot where the now-disbanded National Democratic Party headquarters currently stands to the Antiquities Ministry.
The former NDP headquarters is located on the Nile Corniche behind the Egyptian Museum, off Tahrir Square.
In a memorandum published on Al-Ahram’s news website, Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali requested Ganzouri’s help so that the Antiquities Ministry can use the land plot as part of a plan to renovate the museum’s garden.
According to the memo, Ali said the piece of land used to belong to the Antiquities Ministry before the NDP headquarters was built on it. Restoring the land to the Antiquities Ministry will allow the museum to be better protected and provide visitors access from the Nile Corniche side, he added.
The Egyptian Museum was built in 1901 on a total surface area of 38,616 square meters, including the piece of land on which the NDP headquarters stands.
The current NDP building, which was burned during the 25 January revolution, was originally a port that served the Egyptian Museum. It received ships loaded with artifacts from Luxor, Aswan and Upper Egypt year round. The artifacts were either displayed at the museum or stored there.
Formal and popular ceremonies used to be held at the port upon the arrival of shipments of newly discovered mummies.
Ali said the NDP building could collapse as a result of the fire, which would threaten the museum standing only 50 meters away.