Creation of a National Center for Traditional Artifacts

Key objectives of the measure:

According to article 13 of the convention in regard with Integration of Culture in Sustainable Development Policies, Egypt is endeavouring to give the Culture the place it deserves in the national development policies at all level. The general atmosphere does not allow the flourishing of the measures taken and to foster aspects relating to the protection and promotion of the diversity of Culture.

Although, Egypt through the Ministry of Industry (Industrial Modernization Centre) has undertaken several measures to integrate traditional crafts as a strategic element in the national development policies .In parallel, researches are undertaken to study the conditions around the traditional crafts.

The Ministry of Culture has created a Center for traditional artifacts (Fostat area).

Main feature of the measure:

The center gathered various traditional crafts like pottery, textile, coper works, handmade jewelry, wood works and ceramics. The building that covers 2,400 square metres, consists on workshops, lecture areas, dormitories, exhibition galleries, glazing rooms, offices, a multi-purpose hall, and guest rooms for artists, all of which are centered around a series of open air courtyards. Anthentic materials were used with the exception of reinforced concrete. The centre of Fostat who aimes to safeguard the traditional artifacts has become an important teaching institution. An important collaboration with the very famous school of Prince Charles in the UK is to be underlined as well as the joint activities/ regular visits of outstanding experts.
This strategy of the Centre aimed to foster universal access participation in and enjoyment of the creation and production of cultural expressions. The exposure of the craftsmen to the international markets is encouraged by the Egyptian policies as well as their presence in international fairs believing that this “dialogue” contributes to the strengthening of identity and social cohesionand to the building of inclusive societies that uphold the equal dignity and respect for cultural diversity.

The national and local contexts in Egypt are very unstable and it is very hard for the people in charge of culture to maintain the harmony of the local culture ecosystem. It requires a great deal of endurance since economic, environmrntal, social and cultural systems are interdependent and cannot be considered separately. Thus effective coordination mechanisms should be established before taking any decisions in regrd with integration of Culture in Sustainable Development Policies.

The last two years in Egypt were hit by a large number of institutional changes, and a weakness in the level of the decision makers. Though, a Raising awareness campaign is needed among decision makers on the importance of the Culture dimension of development to meet wi