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Contesting Antiquity in EgyptArchaeologies, Museums, and the Struggle for Identities from World War I to Nasser$
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Donald Malcolm Reid

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166891

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166891.001.0001

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In the Shadow of Egyptology

In the Shadow of Egyptology

Islamic Art and Archaeology to 1952

(p.167) 6 In the Shadow of Egyptology
Contesting Antiquity in Egypt

Donald Malcolm Reid

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter focuses on cultural and political aspects of Egypt's Comité de conservation des monuments de l'art arabe, Museum of Arab Art, and Department of Islamic Archaeology at the Egyptian (now Cairo) University. It examines these institutions mainly through the careers of Ali Bahgat, Max Herz, Gaston Wiet, K. A. C. Creswell, and Zaki Muhammad Hassan. Winning fame as a pioneer of Islamic archaeology for his excavations of the early Islamic provincial capital of al-Fustat, Bahgat became director of the Museum of Arab Art after World War I forced Austro-Hungarian Herz to leave Egypt. After Bahgat died and Zaghlul's nationalist government fell in 1924, the Museum of Arab Art reverted to European control under French orientalist Gaston Wiet. Islamic architectural historian K. A. C. Creswell, a Briton, later founded the Islamic archaeology program at the university. This talented pair, who were personal rivals, survived pressure for decolonization until 1951, when they were finally forced out of office in favour of Egyptian successors, Zaki Muhammad Hassan and Muhammad Mustafa.

Keywords:   Wiet, Ali Bahgat, Orientalist, Creswell, Herz, Museum of Arab Art, Fustat, Zaki Muhammad Hassan, Islamic Archaeology, Comité de conservation des monuments de l'art arabe

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