Egypt eyes further archaeological co-op with China

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Photo taken on March 3, 2019 shows the catacombs of ancient Kom al-Shoqafa tombs in the northern seaside Alexandria province, Egypt. [Photo/Xinhua]

Egypt is looking forward to further archaeological cooperation with China after the work of the first Chinese mission in Egypt in 2018, an Egyptian minister said Sunday.

"The first Chinese archaeological mission in Egypt worked last year and I hope it is only the beginning for a big number of similar Chinese missions in Egypt," Khaled al-Anany, Egypt's minister of antiquities, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

The minister referred to the Chinese mission from the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), which started working on Montu Temple north of the world-famous Karnak Temple Complex in Upper Egypt's province of Luxor last November.

"We have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with CASS and we are very optimistic for a very fruitful cooperation between the two countries in archeology," Anany said.

The Chinese mission has finished its first season of mission in Egypt, which is mainly a preparatory stage in the project, the minister noted.

They are expected, along with Egyptian counterparts, to start the reassembly and restoration works of some of the scattered pieces and ruins of Montu Temple in the coming season, he added.

Describing the Egyptian-Chinese relations as "exceptional," the Egyptian minister expressed hope that they will be equally distinguished in the field of archaeology.

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