Egypt marks 113th anniversary of its famed museum amid tourism slum after Russian plane crash
CAIRO – Egypt's Antiquities Ministry is marking the 113th anniversary of the country's famed Egyptian Museum, which houses the world's largest collection of Pharaonic-era antiquities.
This year's anniversary comes as Egypt grapples with a slump in tourism and massive tourist cancellations.
Battered by years of political turmoil, the tourism sector took another blow after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai last month, killing all 224 people on board. An investigation into the crash, which Western officials say may have been caused by a bomb, is still ongoing.
As celebrations got underway on Monday outside the landmark museum building in Cairo, officials, band players and performers outnumbered the tourists.
Keeping an upbeat tone, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty spoke to local TV stations. He used a traditional greeting for visitors: "Welcome to Egypt."