Sunday, December 20, 2009

U.N. to assist Egypt with planning for underwater museum in Alexandria

I see the United Nations has offered to assist Egypt with its plans for an underwater museum in Alexandria to showcase the remnants of the palace of Cleopatra found just offshore there.

From the artists' conceptions of the new facility it looks like it will be an architectural marvel in its own right! Architect Jacques Rougerie explained that the architectural elements are meant to evoke images of Nile feluccas and the maritime importance of the famous lighthouse that once stood here.  The museum will be situation near the new Library of Alexandria, a facilitiy that is projected to one day recapture the title of largest repository of knowledge in the world.

[Image courtesy of Jacques Rougerie Architect]

 Just this week they have raised a massive red granite pylon  weighing nine tons that formed part of the temple of Isis.  The temple complex stood right next to Cleopatra's mausoleum in the year 30 BC. Scholars think Cleopatra was not buried there though.  She was reportedly buried inland beside her husband Marc Antony.  There had been speculation earlier this year that their burial had been found but I haven't heard anything more about that excavation lately.

I wish the museum would be open when I visit Egypt but I don't think it will be finished by February 2011 when I plan to go there.  For more wonderful photos of the project, check out the National Geographic feature about it!

Cleopatra's Alexandria          Cleopatra's Palace:: In Search of a Legend