20 December 2011

Egypt: Culture Minister - Country Has Three Original Copies of Description De L'egypte

Egypt has three original copies of the historic book "Description de l'Egypte" (Description of Egypt) other than the one that was consumed by fire at the Scientific Academy in Downtown Cairo, Culture Minister Shaker Abdel-Hamid said.

An original copy is stored at the National Library and Archives, another at the Egyptian Geographic Society and an incomplete copy at Assiut University, Abdel-Hamid said.

The original translation of the book is also present, he noted.

However, Egypt has lost a large collection of rare books and manuscripts in the fire in addition to the historic building of the academy, which dates back to more than 200 years ago, he regretted.

The Description de l'Egypte (Description of Egypt) was a series of publications, appearing first in 1809 and continuing until the final volume appeared in 1829, which offered a comprehensive scientific description of ancient and modern Egypt as well as its natural history.

It is the collaborative work of about 160 civilian scholars and scientists, who accompanied Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798 to 1801, as well as about 2,000 artists and technicians.

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