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Cairo's Tahrir Square was at the heart of Egypt's revolution.
Young people determined to overthrow President Mubarak and his regime.
The Egyptian museum stands on the square.
It is the heart of Egypt, the bearer of its heritage.
TRANSLATED FROM ARABIC:
In the chaos of the revolution,
the museum's unique collection was looted.
That building there behind the museum
was burned down by supporters of Mubarak
in an attempt to make the protestors look like hooligans.
And look just how close it is to the museum.
the peaceful protestors kind of had like a cordon around the museum
and protected it from the thugs and they fought them off, eventually.
It holds a special place in all our hearts, as Egyptians,
and that museum belongs to the entire world,
it's human history, not just Egyptian history, so...
I was there from the first moment,
as soon as they started to come
and fill the Square here.
I came and I stood there, all day, every day.
It was the most beautiful revolution you've ever seen.
We came here when I was four.
And we lived in the house here, in this square, right, here.
-So, as a small child, did you go there to that museum?
With my dad and my mum.
We used to walk only about a couple of hundred yards.
My father wanted me to see all the stuff that was there.
From looking at what they made in this museum,
you know how they lived.
The Egyptian Museum bears witness to thousands of years of history
that have entranced the world.
It holds the key to Egypt's past and perhaps to its future, too.
I've always loved this museum.
It's unlike any other.
It houses 160,000 treasures from Egypt's ancient civilisation.
The age of the Pharaohs began more than five millennia ago
and lasted for 31 dynasties,
some 3,000 years in which Egypt had no rival in art.
Some of the pieces overturn what you thought you knew.
This is a Pharaoh called Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt for 40 years,
a very powerful Pharaoh.
But the thing is, this is a woman.
She was Queen Hatshepsut, and, in fact, that beard that she's wearing
is the ceremonial beard that every Pharaoh would wear.
It's a sign of their status.
The treasures of Tutankhamun's tomb are here.
They were hauled out of the ground by a team
led by the British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1923.
5,000 of them are here in Cairo,
an incomparable collection.
Yet part of the museum's magic is that everything is cluttered
and covered in dust,
as though it hasn't been touched since it first opened in 1902.
The Royal Mummy Room holds the remains
of 11 of the most illustrious Pharaohs,
dating from 1650 BC.
This is Ramesses II.
He was one of the great Pharaohs of the 19th dynasty.
And he ruled for an astonishing 70 years, or nearly - 67 years.
Of course, you can tell he's a Pharaoh because his arms are crossed
and that's how they were placed in these tombs.
He's incredibly well preserved. You can actually see his teeth.
Luckily, in the looting, these major pieces weren't touched.
But 54 items were taken, of which 23 have now been recovered.
Others were vandalised and have had to be restored.
I sought out Mohammed Ali, the chief curator.
-Hello, sir. Nice to see you.
-How are you?
-You're welcome here.
-This is the way in for...what, the officials?
Rumours abound about who was responsible for the looting,
from it being an inside job,
to its being provoked by the police
in order to discredit the demonstrators.
'Mohammed wanted to show me where the thieves broke in on the night of January 28th.'
This is the statue that was stolen and there were other things taken from here.
Yeah, yeah. From this case here.
-Didn't find anything here.
-Was this glass broken?
-Yeah, all the glass, broken. This new glass here.
-They came through the ceiling, is that right?
-Dropped a rope?
-They used a rope to get into here.
And the last one,
-the rope cut and...
-Oh, the rope broke and he dropped?
-And he broke this, obviously.
-And the glass broken, and these objects,
-we found them...
-All over the floor?
And his blood, the blood of the man.
Here is the remains of the blood.
-He hid in the corner?
'It might seem surprising that a museum with such priceless objects
'appears to have quite modest security.'
So did all the young people in the square, they all tried to collect...
Many people come to protect the museum.
Without the people coming here to protect the museum
and the army and the police, the thieves maybe stole many objects here
thousands of objects.
I'm told that when the looting went on,
a lot of the protestors surrounded the museum
to protect it from the damage that it might...
That's very true. I saw with my own eyes, yeah, they did.
The pro-Mubarak thugs were trying to put the country in a state of panic.
What better than to attack one of the most treasured, uh,
pieces of history that we have,
to make everybody feel like, oh, you know, there's anarchy or chaos, or whatever.
So the students rallied round.
Other people were trying to get in and steal.
Of course, it has a lot of valuable things.
It's history and you feel like you want to preserve that,
you don't want to lose that.
We were a peaceful demonstration. A peaceful way express your beliefs.
And they were trying to make us out to be destroying,
destroying the culture, ruining the country.
Controversy over the looting and its aftermath has not gone away.
The man who has carried the can for it all arrives at the museum
with his entourage.
He's the Minister of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass.
The most famous person in Egypt, aside from Omar Sharif.
Could he be wearing something from his own clothing range?
Yes, he has his own clothing range.
Not only that, he's got his own reality TV show,
broadcast on the History Channel in the United States.
He's Egypt's leading archaeologist,
and one of the country's most controversial figures.
He's looking out for me,
and he's certainly not a man to be kept waiting.
He's been under attack and forced to defend himself,
not a role he appreciates.
Dr Hawass is a bit of a Pharaoh himself.
-One of your favourite pieces?
-Yes. It is one of them.
If you look AT the statue, you can feel that he's a king.
-Because the artist put the royal blood inside his muscles.
This museum is inside my heart all the time.
We...I suffered a lot... If you try to change things in Egypt, not easy.
There is many people who have private business.
And they can control everything, but I'm fighting those people
because at the end, the good thing will stay
and Tahrir Museum will be a star in the sky of Cairo.
Let us move to another place.
You as a film director should choose the location, they should guide me.
'I had a job keeping up with him.'
What I want to ask you about is about the theft.
I want to ask you what happened and how you're dealing with it?
'He was bursting to give me his side of the story
'about what happened during the revolution.'
I stayed 37 days as a minister.
And I began to see all the thieves and the crooks.
I faced them and I attacked them and I tried to make stability.
They found this was a good opportunity to attack me.
And they began the worst attack you can ever see in your life.
I said, "Why, why, I'm serving my country and this is happening to me?"
I resigned. And I said to myself, "That's enough."
But, after one month, they asked me to come back.
And I said, "Antiquities is part of me and I am part of antiquities."
This is why I came back. When the thief came here it was dark.
Thanks, God, it was dark. He could not see anything.
He was looking for gold and this is why he broke...
That boat was broken into over 100 pieces.
And it was beautifully restored. Thanks, God.
The museum is saved. It is saved.
This is why I'm saying, all the time,
that can museums be saved? Egypt is safe.
Egyptian antiquities have always attracted outsiders.
As witnessed by the writer Mark Twain
on his travels in the 19th century.
Looting was as familiar in Mark Twain's time as it is today.
Which is why Egyptian antiquities are spread all over the world.
Mark Twain fell under the spell of the sphinx.
In 1869, in his illustrated travel book Innocents Abroad, he wrote:
"We heard the familiar clink of a hammer.
"One of our well-meaning reptiles, I mean, relic hunters,
"had crawled up there and was trying to break a specimen
"from the face of this, the most majestic creation the hand of man has wrought,
"but the great image contemplated the dead ages as calmly as ever."
If you look in the British Museum,
you'll see the beard of the Sphinx in a glass case.
It changed hands in 1817,
courtesy of the Ottoman viceroy, Muhammad Ali Pasha.
Over the decades, the practice continued.
Antiquities from Egypt were routinely shipped out
and many are now to be found in museums in the West.
Looting continues to this day.
Not just in Tahrir Square, but in sites all over Egypt.
Here in Giza, recently discovered antiquities
were stolen from a storeroom at the pyramid over there.
Teams of archaeologists are still digging up treasure.
Whole pyramids have been traced under the sands
and two years ago a storeroom of 30 mummies was found
here at the burial site in Saqqara.
But the sites were very vulnerable during the revolution.
This tomb was owned by Ti, the overseer of the temples and pyramids of the king.
I gather there's been a huge amount of looting here. Even in this tomb?
You can say that perhaps 60% of the monuments
have been entered, meaning they broke the door.
In fact, since most of these monuments are empty
the results were poor.
Little was taken because it had already gone long ago.
Here, behind this little window, you had sitting a statue.
The people, the looters, came from up because there is a trap
and so you can go down and they started moving this
statue of Ti and broke it.
It's apparently lying down behind the wall.
This is another piece that was found at Saqqara.
If you look at the eyes of this statue it looks like alive.
Maybe the most beautiful wooden statue ever created by a human being.
OK, let's walk on then.
'Dr Hawass has an interesting line on lessons for today from the Pharaohs.'
This is beautiful, Mr Hawass, isn't it?
Yes, this is another famous masterpiece in this museum.
It has a very interesting story.
This king is Mentuhotep II. Nebhepetre.
He was actually... In ancient Egypt 4,000 years ago,
it happened a revolution, like our revolution.
There is a man, a writer.
He tried to advise the king, "The people around you are not good.
"They are corrupted." And the king never listened.
Now tell me, are there any lessons from this period?
The revolution 4,000...
-The lesson I'm telling you.
-I'm telling you.
Today, if you read what was left to us,
it is the most important lesson for everyone. For the ruler.
For the people today to understand, what do we need now? A strong king.
The protestors certainly didn't want a strong king,
or indeed their president, Mubarak.
They are proud that on Tahrir Square they had no leaders.
During the revolution, the army was seen as protecting the protestors.
Now it's in charge until the elections in September.
There are still demonstrations every Friday on Tahrir Square.
They are demanding that Mubarak be charged quickly
and that the head of the army be sacked.
Are there lessons you think that Egypt can learn from its history?
From this revolution 4,000 years ago
in which people demanded better conditions.
The middle class demanded more.
The workers' strikes started back in ancient Egypt.
There were workers' strikes, and mind you,
ancient Egypt was still a sort of authoritarian regime
so we appreciate it and we value it for what it is,
but no, we don't want another Pharaoh.
In the time of the Pharaohs, gods and leaders were aligned.
The Pharaohs joined the gods when they died.
But on Earth, they were responsible for the people.
This Pharaoh, Akhenaten, was something of a philosopher.
In a culture that had many gods, he narrowed it down to one.
The sun god was the only god, and the Pharaoh, his only guarantor.
This is Akhenaten, and there is the sun.
The sun god, of course, was called Aten
and he changed his name to call himself Akhenaten
so that he was one and the same as the sun.
This Pharaoh was as bold
and innovative in the arts as he was in philosophy.
There's a new humanity in evidence.
I love this little statuette.
This is Akhenaten with the little princess, his daughter.
And, of course, you think of the Pharaohs
as a sort of aloof, even intimidating, figures
so this is a really special piece capturing this intimate moment
of the father with his daughter.
It's really, really beautiful.
The Pharaoh was not just a king.
He was not just someone controlling the country.
He was a symbol of the nation.
He was connected strongly with the fertility of the land.
And the stabilisation of the universe.
This was the image of the Egyptian Pharaoh
and of the people, the Egyptians.
They trusted this Pharaoh. He was not a dictator.
He was the one who can lead the country to the future.
Most people in England,
most of us think of the Pharaohs as sort of authoritarian figures.
They were the rulers.
I mean, is that a wrong idea then the sense that they were
-sort of totalitarian regimes, that they were in charge?
It's, well, there is one fact
that dictatorship cannot build great civilisations.
Dictatorship can build a huge building,
but it is still ugly because the people who will build it
they will build it without love.
These Pharaohs were not dictators. We hear that,
"Oh, the Pharaohs used the people as slaves." Which is not true.
And that's the only reason they were able to build these great civilisations.
So it seems that the pyramids were not built by the anonymous,
slave-driven mass that Hollywood has created.
'Egypt 50 centuries ago,
'slaves and generations of slaves wrest the rock from the unyielding earth.'
In fact, the workers were fed, housed and even given medical care.
If this was a dictatorship, it was more benign
and inclusive than we'd been led to believe.
'Armies of wretched humanity suffered and died
'to haul their colossal burden across the desert to the River Nile.'
The giant stones to build the pyramids
were floated down the Nile.
And for three months of the year when the Nile flooded
and the farmers couldn't work their fields, they worked on the pyramids.
It was a kind of ancient job creation scheme.
'It rises from the desert floor as the mightiest monument ever erected
'to the glory of one man.'
And look what they created.
This is it, the pyramid of pyramids.
The Great Pyramid of Egypt was named after King Cheops,
the Pharaoh of the old kingdom.
It's 146 metres high, two million separate slabs of limestone.
It was a feat of extraordinary organisation,
of mathematical precision, and huge, huge construction requirements.
But Cheops, the builder of the biggest pyramid of them all
is commemorated by only one statue.
And it's one of the tiniest objects in the museum.
-So, this is the famous Cheops?
Of all the statues, little statue, but very important.
Very, very important.
It's so amazing that he's so tiny
and yet he was this great builder of the biggest pyramid?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Look at the face. Fantastic face.
Although the face is very small, but if you look at him
you'll find the statue looks at you. Look.
And it's in this tiny little box. With a little lock on it.
'The pyramids weren't just monuments to the Pharaohs.
'They were a collective hope for the future
'and a celebration of everyday life.'
And so here, these are the servants, is that right?
Yeah, the servants, yeah.
Everyone, everyone of these servants makes something.
He makes something.
Look, this one makes beer.
-He's pressing the hops?
-And he's cooking.
-She is, it's a she, I think.
Yeah, it is. Oh, a lady.
She is cooking.
This one also maybe goes to the market to get something from the market.
So all these servants belonged to the Pharaohs
and they would be in the tombs?
Yeah, in the tombs to serve.
They believed that these statues become people after death to serve him.
The afterlife was for everyone.
For the Pharaohs, for the other class people, middle class people,
lower people, servants.
Everyone built a tomb for his afterlife with what he has.
With what he owned.
They enjoyed life very much and because of this
they wanted the same life for themselves in the afterlife.
We often think of ancient Egyptians as propagating a cult of death.
But unlike many other religions, they cherished the day-to-day.
They weren't just waiting for the life hereafter.
But when they went, they went in style.
Only a Pharaoh could have a boat as big as this in his tomb.
Because they believed when the king gets up again,
he can use it to go anywhere with the sea.
-So he can float down the Nile on this boat after death?
They believed that, yes. You were born again in after death.
We found vegetables, food, clothes everything. Everything. OK?
So the idea was that life after death would be just as comfortable
as life before death. You have all the things that you have on earth,
-you put them in the tomb.
Of course, life wasn't comfortable for everyone, and indeed,
there was the revolution of 2000 BC,
which was ultimately heeded by the Pharaohs.
In Egypt today, the Pharaoh has stepped aside.
But the current revolution continues on the Square
with yet another demonstration.
An earlier revolution in Egypt in 1952, led by an army officer,
Gamal Abdel Nasser, also took place on this square,
and gave it the name "Tahrir", or Liberation Square.
It's quite wonderful that this is its name
because it didn't start out being called Tahrir Square,
It started out being called Ismailia, after Ismail,
who built it and who built modern Cairo.
And it was with the revolution of '52 that they changed the name
to Liberation Square.
-And then it wasn't really liberated and...
And now it is, yeah, which is nice.
Somebody wrote that the revolution of '52
was done by the army and supported by the people.
And the revolution of 2011 was a people's revolution
and protected by the army, and all of it in Tahrir.
I grew up under Nasser,
and we were very much encouraged then
to look at Ancient Egyptian history as very much alive
and very much part of who we are,
because Nasser was the first Egyptian to rule Egypt since the Pharaohs.
But Nasser's revolution didn't have the success he hoped for.
Of course the powers that were arranged against him, you know.
-The West, Israel, the reactionary Arab regimes...
If Nasser had been allowed,
if you like...to succeed in his project, we would have...
I mean, the world would've been in a COMPLETELY different place now.
It was under Nasser that the museum lost the land
that linked it to the Nile.
A government office block was built on it,
the one that was burnt out in the revolution.
You can see how ugly is this building...
-Well, it's been destroyed now.
-Which had been completely destroyed.
We are asking for this land back.
We need to have the museum seize the Nile again.
Because this was one of the goals
that they put the museum on this spot.
The museum is the house of the treasures of the Pharaohs
and the Nile was the life of the Egyptians.
-Look at the Nile.
This extraordinary view you have from here, which is...
It is. From up here, it's the most beautiful place in the world.
I believe, I've been everywhere in the world,
I haven't seen anything as beautiful as that.
If we had not the Nile, we would not have Egypt at all.
Not only Cairo, all of Egypt would not exist at all.
Egypt exists because of this one river.
This wonderful river which we worship,
which the ancient Egyptians worshipped also
because this is our life, this.
Until Nasser came, until 1952, we were an agricultural country.
We used to export our cotton and rice and all sorts of food.
We had enough food for the whole population
with no problem whatsoever.
Today we import food. Egypt imports food, which is unheard of.
We fed the whole world at one time.
But Egypt has got poorer and poorer, hasn't it?
The poorer have got poorer and poorer and poorer.
Because they are more and more.
It's a population count that is terrifying.
I remember about 20 years ago, 25 years ago,
we were 30 million, in all Egypt.
And now there's 30 million people in Cairo.
No matter what they tell you, it grows all the time.
Everybody came to Cairo. And they can't find a job.
What's your feelings about how things will develop over the next few years?
I have complete confidence in the people.
I have no confidence, for sure, to the leaders.
Everybody who has a position in the government,
or in any big business,
if they can get something more and put it in their pockets,
they will do it.
Corruption, complacency and unemployment.
These were problems Nasser did try to address
and some people are still flying the flag for him.
Dr Mamdouh Hamza was one of the first down on the Square in January,
taking blankets to the young people.
Under the old regime he stood up against corruption
and was imprisoned for his pains.
Is it true in Egypt, perhaps, 40% of the population
are living in a state of such poverty
-they are only making a couple of dollars a day?
Poverty which you cannot appreciate.
Poverty of a different kind.
Poverty that some families go to the dustbin of others to eat.
The requirement of the revolution, bread, freedom and social justice.
This was the first banner within the Square and it was printed here.
In the time of the Pharaohs, almost forgotten till now,
there was a goddess of social justice.
One of the smallest gods in the Egyptian museum,
but one of most important, the goddess Maat.
What does Maat say?
"Follow your heart all your life."
"Don't cut yourself from the daily life.
"Don't go to the mosque or the temple and spend all your life praying."
When corruption and injustice spread in Egypt 4,000 years ago,
the people did not go to have a new Pharaoh
or they did not go to power or army,
they went to Maat.
It's a social justice.
What will the Egyptians always look for?
They looked for it 4,000 years ago and they are looking for it now.
This is not news footage.
It's filmed by the young people themselves.
So many of these young people, they weren't just on the square
they were documenting the revolution and they continue to do so.
On YouTube there must be hundreds of entries.
Day by day, they are continuing to record what's happening.
The business of capturing testimony
has become a mission for many of the young occupiers
of Liberation Square.
This protest is against military trials of civilians
arrested on the demonstrations both during and since the revolution.
-You were just talking to this lady, is her son...?
-This is her son.
-This is her son.
Two sons. Her son and his friend.
He is her son and Hamed, his friend,
and both of them were detained and tried on Thursday 3rd February.
Are there a lot of young men like this?
Yes, this is just one example.
We have hundreds who were arrested during the protests.
We have thousands of regular citizens who were arrested
in different random situations and incidents
and all the testimonies report the same thing.
A completely unfair trial, their sentences are the very worst.
Most of the sentences we see are three or five or seven years.
Clearing the square after the revolution the army arrested
many of the demonstrators and took them to the museum to interrogate them.
What I saw with my own eyes is someone from the middle of the square
being dragged to the museum.
And four or five military police around him
and he was being dragged to the museum.
We've heard about people getting electrocuted, people getting beaten.
People were saying they were urinating in their own pants from the electric shocks.
They were taken to the museum because it was convenient?
In a sense what was happening was it was being abused.
It was. Absolutely!
The museum as well as the people?
And the memory that it carries and the heritage that it carries
was being stigmatised.
When people mention the museum now, that's the first thing that crosses any Egyptian's mind,
the first thing that crosses your mind is torture.
Criticising the army has been dangerous,
but these young people have started a free newspaper,
which gives eye-witness accounts about what really happened at the museum.
Tell me about this issue of torture inside the museum?
-A very severe act of torture, on more than one...
There were a lot of witnesses, and there's a photo of...
-Our friend, Ramy Essam.
He was electrocuted, beaten up with iron rods and sticks.
-This is him?
He had long hair, they cut his hair with a piece of glass.
He was very well known in the square here. He used to sing on stage.
He made songs out of the chants.
Young film-makers have produced evidence of Ramy's torture.
Old habits die hard, it seems.
The army is neither admitting nor denying their actions.
But, for the time being, they are in charge.
We need to hold people accountable.
We don't do that in this country.
Mubarak was untouchable for a long time and then people got rid of him
and now the army is untouchable.
We need to get to a point where nobody's beyond criticism, where nobody's untouchable.
It's not going to be like it used to be, because the people...
awakened. They are awake now.
They now... They had this thing,
they were there for days and days, and it grew, everywhere.
Every child, every boy, every man, told his family,
told the rest of the people, the neighbours,
everybody knows today that we need a government which is fair to the people,
and tries to help the people.
All over Egypt, people are tussling with the question of what comes next.
Can the elections be free and fair?
Will religious parties win out?
If you look back to Egyptian history,
you see this combination of a religious and secular society
where the two seem to go hand in hand.
What is its legacy and destiny from its history, would you say?
The Egyptians, maybe, you could consider them
some of the most religious nation on earth, because of their history.
But they're not fanatic.
And I don't think the majority of Egyptians,
when they are given the right information,
they would like to have a religious government.
No. Definitely not.
They will respect their religion, they will go to the mosque to pray,
but when they get out of the mosque, they will live their life.
They like live, they love life.
We are religious,
but not fanatic.
Mubarak said we were fanatic. They said we were extreme.
They said we were divided.
Well, here we are. We are fine.
There was this rediscovery, of, not a tolerance,
but an embrace of diversity.
And this pride, but a gentle pride,
in being Egyptian, in being at the beginning of civilisation,
and showing a way, which is a gentle way.
This revolution, as much as anything, is about reclaiming that.
Your sense of the future is that you want your own Egyptian identity?
What I'm asking you is, what is that identity?
I think it's the identity that has cultural roots,
just keeping our language, just keeping our...
Our ways of living.
I don't think the people have had enough freedom to really find out what our culture is.
We haven't defined ourselves. We were occupied during Mubarak,
and we were occupied by the French and the...
-And the British, and everybody, basically.
-The Turks and the Greeks and the Romans.
I've started thinking that we're discovering our identities
in Tahrir Square, actually, so it's going to take time,
but this is going to be very impressive and very interesting to see.
The cut and thrust of today, dreams for the future,
and always the pull of the past.
One well-known contemporary artist who draws inspiration
and optimism from the time of the pharaohs
chooses to work in the countryside, out by the pyramids.
You love the hustle and bustle of Cairo,
but you need the peace and meditation of here.
Yes, for sure.
Yes, I stay here to make a good contact with the ancient Egyptians.
And the pyramid helps me to have these feelings.
We need to be Egyptians.
We are not real Egyptians.
We need to be Egyptians.
That is very relevant to this revolution that has taken place in Egypt today
because, clearly, what kind of society does Egypt want in the future?
Is it to be based on these principles,
these interesting principles?
-Yes. It is echo of Maat.
Dr Hamza said to us that Maat was this great goddess Maat,
the goddess of social justice, something Mr Mubarak obviously hadn't heard of.
Yes. Mubarak, he don't know Maat.
Perhaps he heard the word, but he don't...
-He doesn't really understand.
-No, no, no.
For sure, no, because Maat is a very, very profound thing.
It's a very deep quality of humanity,
which is very important.
Art is not a decoration.
Art is a very important thing,
very important spiritual feelings.
It's not just colours and this kind of thing.
I use sand.
-You use sand?
-In your paintings?
This relief here, it is sand, this middle part.
-Ah, this is the mud from the Nile.
-This is where it comes from.
Yes, this is for that.
That boat, it mix with the real mud of the Nile.
Right. This one up here?
This up here, yes.
The revolution, it needs now something mentally,
-To lift it up?
And the danger is that Egypt today may be closed.
Closed, yes. It's closed.
2,000 years, closed.
So your belief, your faith, you're a Pharaonic?
I am a Pharaonic man.
And the pharaohs, it seems, are to have a new resting place.
This stretch of desert on the edge of Cairo
is going to be Egypt's new "Grand Museum".
It'll be a brave, new, dust-and-looting-free world.
It looks like Fort Knox.
After many delays, it's now scheduled for completion in 2015.
So far, only the state of the art conservation centre has been built.
This museum is Dr Hawass's big new project.
And, as always, all the cameras are on him.
Dr Hawass is here to pledge to the world that, despite the revolution,
the project continues, and will be an icon of the new Egypt.
When it's finished, the Grand Museum will house the whole Tutankhamun collection,
which is now the jewel in the crown of the museum on the square.
The grand staircase will be one of the most monumental grand staircases in the world.
The galleries themselves are laid out in a wonderful fashion,
as if you are really in an archaeological site.
They are the most environmentally-controlled
and have light controls in order to ensure the safety of the treasures.
Thank you very much.
Then the Minister started talking about reclaiming treasures from abroad.
Mr Hawass, Alan Yentob, Professor Hawass, from the BBC.
Tell me, how hopeful are you to get back the head of Nefertiti from the Berlin Museum?
And do you have any plans for which other museums in the world,
thinking of England in particular...
You know, I am not sure.
But the most important thing that the world has to know now
and in the future, is that the head of Nefertiti belongs to Egypt.
The unique artefacts that Egypt owns are Nefertiti's bust,
the Rosetta Stone, the Zodiac at the Louvre,
Hemiunu in Hildesheim
and Ankhhaf in Boston and Rameses II in Torino.
I think those are unique statues and they should be in Egypt,
not in any country, even some of them left legally.
What about Britain and the British Museum?
You know, I believe if you want to fight, fight one by one,
don't fight everyone if you want to win.
Whether the Minister of Antiquities will be able to complete his plan,
the museums of the world will have to wait and see.
The old museum seems somehow overshadowed, even threatened,
by its new rival.
It was good to be back in its charm and comfort,
with its slightly less hi-tech security.
Suddenly, extraordinarily, they decide to change a light bulb
under the mask of Tutankhamun,
possibly the most precious object in the world.
They're taking it out of its cabinet.
This must be a very rare thing - the changing of a lamp.
So they've taken this out.
It's unbelievable that they should do this
in front of all these people.
You would have thought they might have done this out-of-hours when there was no one in here.
Can you imagine this happening in any other museum in the world?
Well, we won't be seeing anything like that again.
The old museum is being dusted down and updated.
And in a few years' time, of course,
all of Tutankhamun's treasures
will be in the shiny new palace by the pyramids.
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new."
It's sad, but maybe inevitable.
Egypt is moving on, it's looking forward,
but let's hope it continues to glance back from time to time
to its inspirational past.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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