CAIRO: A factory for archaeological replicas in Egypt’s El-Obour City, the first of its kind in the region, was inaugurated by Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani.

The facility was established in cooperation with the Egyptian Kenouz Company for Archaeological Models.

Al-Anani said that the factory will help introduce Egyptian history to the world, and protect the country’s cultural heritage and intellectual property rights.

He added that antique clones produced in the factory include special stamps from the Supreme Council of Antiquities and a certificate from the ministry certifying replica status.

Antique pieces will also feature a symbol with information in both Arabic and English, including material names, weight, and the title and location of the original antique.

The minister said that archaeological replicas are “among the most important products” marketed in the tourism sector, as consumers buy them locally and internationally as souvenirs.

He added that the production of Egyptian archaeological models has been a long-term demand of many tourists, and that the replicas will be available in hotels and tourist bazaars at special prices.

Al-Anani said that the first official sale for the pieces will open in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization on April 4, following the museum’s official opening and a mummy exhibition.

Outlets will then open in all Egyptian governorates, museums and markets in the near future, he said, adding that some products will also be exported overseas and will feature in foreign exhibitions.

The inaugurated factory employs about 150 artists and craftsmen with long-term experience — many having previously worked with the Ministry of Tourism.

Hisham Shaarawi, chairman of the Kenouz Company for Archaeological Models, said that the factory was completed at the end of last year. It then began a trial period, during which it produced 6,400 different pieces, including wood, ceramic stone and metal antique replicas.

The facility, which extends about 10,000 square meters, is equipped with the latest technology and specialized machinery.

It includes manual production lines and tools for foundry metals, a line for wood and carpentry, and a line for making molds.

Molds for production lines, sculpting, printing, drawing and coloring, including colored glass and t-shirts, are also available.

There is also an exhibition hall for replicas produced in the factory.

The company has also started a production line for recycling that utilizes waste from the production of artworks and paintings, such as eggshells and tree leaves.

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