The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has made the decision not to bring the sunken ancient Alexandrian ruins to surface, and instead will convert them into an underwater museum that will permit tourists to see up to 2,500 pieces of sub-surface stonework that goes back to as early as 365 AD. The museum is designed by renowned French architect Jacques Rougerie, and has a $150 million budget.
While the process of building the museum had been suspended owing to the regional upheavals in Egypt, they are now back in action, and will be completed soon
The museum will allow visitors to view the ruins in its original context from waterfront galleries that will be connected to underwater areas by fiberglass tunnels.
Plans for the museum include four tall buildings that include fiberglass tunnels which are connected to 22 feet deep platforms meant for viewing the ancient relics and artifacts. Furthermore, the museum will feature glass submarines that will provide viewers the opportunity to have a closer look at the relics by touring and area and diving around the main site.
Should these plans be approved, the wide variety of treasures of Alexandria that were once lost – submerged in the ocean since the Middle Ages courtesy devastating earthquakes will be accessible to people to study and to admire.
The most instrumental reason behind this project is the protection of the invaluable ruins from thieves and burglars. As these are very sought-after targets, it would be a next-to-impossible job to keep them safe round the clock without a surrounding infrastructure that is permanent and tamper-proof in nature.
The various underwater relics that guests shall admire will include a sphinx, around sixty pieces of Cleopatra’s Palace and the Royal Court, as well as the Pharos Lighthouse, which stands as one of the ancient world’s seven wonders.
Youssef Khalifa, chair of Central Administration of Lower Egypt Antiquities has helmed the museum as vital in re-establishing the lost shape of the Arab region, being the first, and for quite some time, perhaps the only one of its kind. He further said that it will be greatly instrumental in giving the Egyptian tourism industry and economy a much-needed boost, especially after a long period of economic and political recession.