The extraordinary idea of housing an antiquities museum in the cultural complex of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was born when several exquisite pieces dating back to the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras were discovered during the excavation works at the construction site of the Library.
The BA Antiquities Museum is one of the few museums in the world that displays artifacts discovered at the selfsame location of the museum.
The Museum was officially inaugurated on 16 October 2002. Its collections were carefully selected to reflect the rich, multi-cultural history of Egypt with its Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic, and Islamic heritage. Special focus is given to Alexandria and the Hellenistic period. The Museum houses 1,133 pieces, which include two unique collections:
- The artifacts found during the excavation works on the construction site (1993–1995)
- Antiquities hauled up from the Mediterranean seabed near the East Harbor and Abukir Bay.
Established in 2001, the mission of the Museum is to promote research and creativity through different programs and activities. It aims to give its visitors a glimpse of the different eras of Egypt’s history and raise the cultural awareness of young people by presenting a variety of educational programs.
The Antiquities Museum is designed in a very modern way, using the most sophisticated techniques, such as special optic lighting systems suitable for the exhibits and anti-theft and firefighting systems. Recently, the Museum’s labels were translated into French, besides Arabic and English, to cater to all francophone visitors.
With a database of more than 1,000 ancient monuments, the BA Antiquities Museum is the first museum in Egypt to display most of its holdings online in Arabic, English, and French. Users can navigate through the different sections to view historical and artistic introductions to the era to which the antiquities belong. Website visitors can also go on a virtual tour of the different halls of the Museum and view panoramic photographs of the various sections.