For seven years of my life, I spent so much time in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania that I felt as though I lived there. During that time, I saw what a difference the Friends of the Museum were able to make in many areas, including developing education programs for children and promoting interest in the museum among the public.

When I became the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, I began to work to raise awareness in our organization of the importance of friendly organizations, and how Egypt’s museums could benefit from the establishment of such groups. My goal is for each one of our museums to have its own society of friends.

I believe that these friendly organizations should have full authority over their respective institutions. They should see to every aspect of the museums’ administration. In a speech that I gave on this subject, I announced that the friends of a museum should even be able to replace the museum’s director if he is not doing his job. I have seen many examples of how the friends of a museum can bring about change for the good of the institution.

I am so happy that the Friends of the Coptic Museum are an active and interested group. They are wonderful, and it is a very good feeling to see that my vision of the creation of friendly societies for Egypt’s museums is being fulfilled. The good things that the Friends of the Coptic Museum do are clear for everyone to see – the first edition of the museum newsletter is an excellent example.


Dr. Zahi Hawass
Secretary General, Supreme Council of Antiquities