Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Egypt opens 1st archaeological replicas manufacturing facility to counter Chinese knockoffs

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Feb 23, 2021

Egypt is making remaining preparations to inaugurate the primary and largest manufacturing facility of archaeological reproductions within the Middle East. The venture helps protect Egypt’s archaeological property rights in its archaeological heritage and supply Egyptian reproductions as a substitute for the Chinese-made merchandise.

According to archaeologists, this venture can have a optimistic affect within the financial, vacationer and archaeological sectors.

In December 2020, Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, mentioned that the manufacturing facility will contribute to the safety of mental property rights for Egyptian antiquities.

Waziri famous that the manufacturing facility, which is positioned within the industrial zone of Obour metropolis in Qalyubia governorate, was established in cooperation with the Egyptian Treasures Company for Archaeological Models, as the primary of its variety in Egypt and the Middle East.

On Feb. 8, Waziri wrote on his Facebook web page about his newest go to to the manufacturing facility web site, saying, “Today’s visit is the archaeological reproductions factory in preparation for its opening soon, God willing … the grandchildren are on the path of their grandparents.”

Al-Monitor tried to contact Waziri a number of occasions to inquire in regards to the precise time of the opening, however he didn’t reply. According to earlier statements, it’s anticipated to open within the first quarter of 2021.

Forty-four specialised artists and employees in numerous fields equivalent to sculpture, drawing and portray, metalwork, ceramics, woodwork and inlay will work on the 10,000-square-meter (2.5-acre) manufacturing facility. 

The manufacturing facility, which value about 100 million Egyptian kilos ($6.38 million), is supplied with the most recent know-how, and it has handbook and mechanized manufacturing strains for casting metals to provide and lift the effectivity of merchandise from metalwork.

There can be a line for wooden and carpentry to provide all woodwork, and a line of moulds, and the required moulds for manufacturing strains, sculpture, printing, drawing and coloring. In addition, there’s an exhibition corridor to show reproductions which might be being produced.

Magdy Shaker, chief archaeologist on the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, instructed Al-Monitor over the telephone that the manufacturing facility helps confront vintage merchandise of Chinese-made fashions that invade the native and worldwide markets.

“The Chinese product is of poor quality and lower price. Some tourists buy them as souvenirs and complain that they are broken even before they leave Egypt due to bad quality,” he mentioned. 

“If you look at a Chinese-made replica, you will find the product’s features resembling Chinese people, more than ancient Egyptians,” Shaker added, stressing that Egyptian artists ought to design these souvenirs and not anybody else. Egyptian artists will copy them from the unique antiquities, he famous.

Shaker mentioned that the copy manufacturing facility will work to monopolize this business in Egypt.

The manufacturing facility’s bazaars will probably be positioned contained in the vacationer points of interest so as to achieve nice gross sales.

“The ministry already had a unit for the production of archaeological models and reproductions, but it provides little production, unlike the presence of a specialized factory,” Shaker mentioned. 

The ministry’s unit was established in 2011. Amr al-Tibi, government director of the Archaeological Models Production Unit on the Ministry of Antiquities, instructed Akhbar Alyoum again in January final yr that the common manufacturing of this unit — which continues to be operational — reaches between 30,000 to 40,000 items per yr. Since its institution, the gross sales exceeded 25 million Egyptian kilos (about $1.6 million).

Tibi mentioned the unit was established as a part of the amendments made in 2010 to the Antiquities Protection Law No. 117 of 1983, to incorporate provisions for the safety of mental property rights and the trademark of the merchandise of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The unit goals at defending mental property rights, reviving historical Egyptian artwork and creating the sources of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Thus, the manufacturing facility will broaden the unit’s manufacturing of archaeological reproductions by growing capability tons of of occasions the present manufacturing capability of the unit.

Tibi confirmed that in response to the feasibility examine for the manufacturing facility venture, the anticipated income will reach 10 million kilos (roughly $638,000) yearly inside lower than three years. 

Archaeologist and historian Francis Amin instructed Al-Ahram web site Feb. 11 that archaeological fashions are thought of one of the essential handicraft and heritage industries, as a result of they’re a supply of financial earnings as they generate massive monetary revenues for the state.

He famous that historical Egyptian sculptors used to have a statue-making workshop — equivalent to the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose, the place the magnificent statue of Nefertiti’s bust was discovered.

In many elements of Egypt, particularly in Qurna village, positioned on the west financial institution of the Nile reverse Luxor, the business of counterfeit antiquities is flourishing, particularly within the fields of sculptures and small archaeological reproductions. But their merchandise won’t be of the identical high quality as these anticipated from the manufacturing facility.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ Facebook web page, each product produced by the manufacturing facility will bear a particular stamp of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and a licensed certificates stating that it’s an unique piece, along with a barcode for straightforward identification that contributes to defending the manufacturing facility’s merchandise from counterfeits.

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