Egypt/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.2 Heritage issues and policies

On 7 February, 1974, Egypt ratified the International Heritage Directive issued by the UNESCO’s 1972 Public Conference, emphasizing the need for the documentation, protection and maintenance of historic property, be they historic sites, natural reservations, or cultural acquisitions, for safe keeping for future generations. Please refer to the UNESCO site on the Internet.|ar&u= 

The documentation of heritage includes the stock of antique manuscripts at museums and the National Documents House, in addition to documenting the periodicals issued since the birth of journalism in Egypt kept at the Periodicals Section at the National Library and other cultural treasures that are at risk of damage due to oldness or poor warehousing.

Thus at the beginning of the 1990s, and under the slogan of preserving Egypt's heritage, the Information and Decision-Making Support Center affiliated to the Council of Minister launched a project to collect and republish Egypt's cultural heritage by using modern technologies, such as multimedia, establishing databases for museums and their contents and archiving all manuscripts that contain Egypt's cultural heritage. Indeed, this center has documented a large number of museums, antiquities and archeological sites in the country.

In 2002, the Cultural and Natural Heritage Documentation Center was inaugurated a project run by Ministry of Telecommunications and IT. Since Feb. 2003, this center became administratively affiliated to Alexandria Library and is supported by Ministry of Telecommunications and IT and is located in Cairo.

This center cooperates with national and international organizations involved in heritage and it electronically documents antiquities, archeological sites, architectural heritage, manuscripts, music, folklore, caricature, plastic arts, natural sites and other.

This center also took part in protecting the treasures of Egypt's history by using the worldwide numbered identification system. These treasures include the national archive documents, postal office stamp and the Arab Office archive. The huge database at the Cultural and Natural Heritage Documentation Center is being promoted and published on CDs, books and other forms of prints, in addition to providing data on its website:

This center aims to:

  • Document tangible and intangible Egyptian cultural heritage.
  • Document Egyptian natural heritage, which includes natural resources and natural areas that are not environmentally protected yet.
  • Elaborate a national plan to implement this documentation program by using the latest IT applications in cooperation with the specialized national and international organizations.
  • Draw attention to this heritage by using all publication methods available, whether conventional or electronic.
  • Train specialists in the field of documenting cultural and natural heritage.

Chapter published: 01-04-2016