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Showcasing fragile masterpieces

Sakkara’s glass art museum opens its doors to visitors Glass is a combination of sand that is fused in contact with something called a flux. The substances used for this purpose are lead, borax, arsenic, niter, or any alkaline matter. When arsenic is used alone, it gives a yellow cast, while the addition of other …


Sakkara’s glass art museum opens its doors to visitors

Glass is a combination of sand that is fused in contact with something called a flux. The substances used for this purpose are lead, borax, arsenic, niter, or any alkaline matter. When arsenic is used alone, it gives a yellow cast, while the addition of other substances can add more colors.

Borax makes for the best looking-glasses while bottle-glass is the cheapest kind – in this little or no fixed alkali enters the composition.

It s an art form.

An art appreciated by Aida Abdel Karim and Zakaria El Khonani whose works are now on display and for sale at the Glass Art Museum off of Sakkara Road in the Harrania village.

No one knows exactly when or where glass was first made, but it appears to have been produced as far back as the second millennium BC by the Egyptians and perhaps the Phoenicians, yet evidently it originated in Mesopotamia.

It was very much later, around the end of the 1st century BC that a new method, glass blowing, would revolutionize glass production and continues to give museum owners such as Abdel Karim and Khonani the opportunity to display their work.

Aida Abdel Karim told The Daily Star Egypt, This art was probably discovered along the eastern Mediterranean coast in what is now called Syria.

Aida explained that when glass is melted and made malleable, one can produce intricate and symmetrical shapes out of it.

From window glass to jewelry, three foot tall glass sculptures to ornaments for the house, the Sakkara Glass Museum represents the sophisticated art glass of today. A visitor can expect to find more than 500 pieces on display.

The museum itself has an indoor section with two floors carrying glass art by Abdel Karim and Khonani. Not very impressive work, in fact, you might ask yourself why you even came.

By the end of the museum tour, the visitor is taken to a garden also displaying works completed by young Egyptian men and women. Some are worthy of purchasing if you re ready to spend LE 50,000, if not, a cup of tea in the middle of nowhere isn t that bad of an idea either.

Sakkara Glass museum curator, Tarek Hawas told The Daily Star Egypt the length of time it took to set up the exhibition. For months we ve been looking for a place to show our work, and then it took time to move in all the pieces and give the art we were selling a price.

Hawas also confirmed that a lot of borax was used to make the glass, giving reason to why some of the glass art is sold at an expensive price.

Even if you re not looking for money to spend, even if you re looking for a couple of hours to spend in the sun, whether you re trying to get out of Cairo or not, Sakkara Glass museum might be the place to visit – all depending on how much interest you have in glass art.

Located opposite of the Cataract Pyramids Resort the museum is open everyday from 11 am to 5 pm. For more information, call 02 381 5955 or visit http://glassartmuseum.com.

Topics: Gamma Islamiya

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