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Marcus SimaikaFather of Coptic Archaeology$
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Samir Simaika and Nevine Henein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789774168239

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774168239.001.0001

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Searching for Antiquities, Saving Libraries

Searching for Antiquities, Saving Libraries

(p.151) 17 Searching for Antiquities, Saving Libraries
Marcus Simaika

Samir Simaika

Nevine Henein

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter discusses Marcus Simaika's search for antiquities to add to the Coptic Museum as well as his efforts to save the libraries of the Coptic patriarchate, churches, and monasteries from deterioration. Simaika was relentless in his search for objects to add to the museum acquisitions and collections and lamented the difficulty in obtaining gifts of antiquities belonging to Coptic notables. In his persistent search for antiquities, Simaika described an incident involving Anba Bakhomios, bishop of the Deir al-Muharraq (“Burnt Monastery”) in Asyut. When he visited the monastery, he saw an old woven silk curtain with a dedicatory inscription dated 1756 and asked the bishop if he can have it. It took nine years for the bishop to hand over that curtain. Simaika was dedicated not only to acquiring artifacts for the museum, but also to the preservation of antiquities and manuscripts at the ancient churches and monasteries when possible.

Keywords:   antiquities, Marcus Simaika, Coptic Museum, libraries, Coptic patriarchate, monasteries, museum acquisitions, Coptic notables, Anba Bakhomios, museum collections

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