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The Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum is one of the Highlights of Old Cairo. It is founded in 1908. Its peerless collection of Coptic artifacts is enhanced by the beautiful carved ceilings, beams and stained-glass domes inside its mashrabiya’d wings, which enclose peaceful gardens. With artifact from Old Cairo, Upper Egypt and the desert monasteries, the museum traces the evolution of Coptic art from Greco Roman times into the Islamic era (300-1000 AD).

The Coptic museums consists of 2 wings: The new Wing built in 1937 and the Old Wing.
The Old Wing contains an original fourth-century altar, a Fatimid era dome, Nubian wall paintings, wooden works, several mummy portrait panels, friezes of hunting scenes, pottery, Pilgrims’ flasks and finally a small collection of glassware.
A panel depicting Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, taken from the Hanging Church is one of the high points in this wing.

The New Wing contains pagan reliefs and statues of figures from classical mythology, pharaonic ankhs transmuted into looped crosses, stone carvings and frescoes from Bawit Monastery, near Assyut, objects from the monastery of St. Jeremiah at Saqqara, biblical scenes, friezes of animals, several papyrus sheets from the Gnostic Gospels of Nagaa Hamadi, a 1600-year-old towel presaging a host of textiles, ivory work and icons from Old Cairo, Aswan and Kharga Oasis, lots of metal-works and finally an exhibition of Nubian paintings .

One of the nicest collection of this wing is the splendid apse niche depicting Christ enthroned between the creatures of the Apocalypse and the moon and the sun; below, the Virgin and the Child consort with Apostles. Another one is the tenth-century panel from Fayoum depicting Adam and Eve before and after the Fall for which he blames her in the latter scene.

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