Collecting and Repatriating Egypt’s Past: Toward a New Nationalism



Egypt has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that spans over 6,000 years. The most well known period is the Pharaonic era that lasted some 3,000 years, and that has mesmerized people thereafter. Indeed, when people think of Egypt, they rarely think of the modern state—they think of Egypt’s Pharaonic past in terms of its “mirabilia”: pyramids and mummies that evoke the exotic and the esoteric. This perception has influenced current attitudes to the cultural remains from this era, objects and monuments that have come to be regarded as the patrimony not only of the modern-day Egyptians but also of the entire world. The same fascination is one reason why Egyptian artifacts are one of, if not the most, popular exhibits in any museum, regardless of whether the museum is in London, Paris, New York, or Berlin.


Cultural Heritage National Pride Auction House Religious Fundamentalism Egyptian Antiquity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and EgyptologyThe American University in CairoCairoEgypt

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