Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Eissa and Qena Governor Ashraf al-Daoudi on Saturday inaugurated the monasteries of St. George and St. Basantaous in Hajr Naqada, south of Qena Governorate, following the completion of restoration work.
Eissa assured that the Supreme Council of Antiquities continues to preserve Egypt’s archaeological and cultural heritage through restoration projects in archaeological sites and museums across the nation, covering all its historical eras.
He added that they aim to make these places ready for visitors and foreign tourists, improving their experiences there. This comes out of Egypt’s national strategy for tourism development to accommodate the growth in incoming tourist traffic during the upcoming winter tourist season, the minister explained.
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, the Qena Governor, and the rest of the attendees watched a short documentary film which went over the stages of restoration work done in the two monasteries, their importance, and a historical overview.
Bishop Pimen, the Bishop of Naqada, called to place these two monasteries on the tourist map due to their prime location between the Dendera Temple in Qena and the ancient temples of Luxor.
These two monasteries date back to the fifth or sixth century AD, he said, with more excavation work needed to uncover their secrets.
The monasteries are a great addition to the archaeological sites that characterize Qena Governorate, the Qena governor said, which will aid in strengthening its place on Egypt’s tourist map and attract more visitors – domestic or foreign.
The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, attributed the opening of these two monasteries as part of the recent string of inaugurations and various restoration projects the council is working on.
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