CAIRO: Egypt is preparing to open the first, and largest, factory of archaeological reproductions in the Middle East in early 2021, under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, to guarantee its archaeological property rights for its ancient heritage, while fighting poor quality reproductions made in China.
Magdy Shaker, chief archaeologist at the ministry, said it had a department for reproductions but produced low quantities, unlike a specialized factory.
He stressed the need to prevent Chinese antique reproduction to ensure the property rights of Egypt, adding that the Chinese products are of poor quality but cheap, making them attractive.
Shaker added that the reproduction factory will work to monopolize this industry in Egypt, employing about 45 specialist artists to reproduce works based on original artefacts, while setting controls for the 3,000 factories in Luxor and Saqqara that offer poorly made products.
Shaker said that the factory’s bazaars will be located inside prominent tourist attractions to generate higher sales.
He added that the idea could be replicated in places such as Luxor and other tourist areas, and that the replicas could be exported abroad as part of exhibitions of replica Egyptian artefacts.
The factory includes units for manual and mechanical production, to raise the efficiency of production, in addition to a line for wood and carpentry to produce all woodwork, and lines for moulds, sculpture, printing, drawing and coloring.
The factory was established in the industrial zone of Obour City in cooperation with the Egyptian Treasures Company.
Every antique reproduction that will be produced at the factory will bear a special stamp of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and a certificate stating that it is a reporduction, in addition to a barcode placed for easy identification, which contributes to protecting the unit’s products from counterfeiting.