24 January 2014
On January 24th 2014, a car bomb exploded in front of the Cairo Security headquarters, opposite the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Archive Library. Both of these cultural institutions were heavily damaged by the blast. Apart from the direct impact, the hanging ceiling of the museum collapsed and its debris smashed the display cases, further destroying invaluable artifacts. To add to our misery, water tanks related to fire extinguishing systems exploded, causing irreparable additional damage. The Minister of Antiquities called on the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Team to lead the rescue mission. Together with the staff of the museum, the 11 EHRF ToT and all of the trained first aiders it managed to organize a salvage operation according to international standards, not only recovering the minutest fragments of destroyed artifacts, but also photographing, documenting and providing proper storage for whatever was left of the museum collection. The Egyptian Heritage Rescue Team was also involved in saving the collections of the National Archive and transferring manuscripts to the modern concrete building in Boulaq.