Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, wishes to express his great sadness at the loss of many archives and historical works of inestimable heritage, loss due to the fire that struck the Egyptian Institute in Cairo.

Primarily devoted to scientific research, this Institute, founded in 1798 during Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt, holds some 200,000 works, some of which are extremely rare.

Among his most precious pieces relating in particular to the history and geography of Egypt, is an original edition of the monumental Description of Egypt, sum of the knowledge about this country made by the scientists of the expedition of Bonaparte.

Frédéric Mitterrand deplores the fact that a building that is an integral part of Egypt’s living memory, which embodies the very strong cultural ties between Egypt and France, has been affected. The Minister wishes to affirm his support for all those who see in this event the disappearance of a valuable tool of work and thanks in advance all those who will deploy their efforts to save what can still be and contribute as far as possible to restore the damaged structures.

The Ministry of Culture and Communication, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, is ready to mobilize the know-how of the National Library of France, who had already been able to demonstrate his expertise in this field through his decisive support to the Institute of Beautiful Arabic Letters in Tunisia (IBLA).