The Graeco-Roman Museum of Alexandria, established in 1892, is one of the most important museums in the wider region of the Mediterranean with a history of almost 120 years. It contains not only the main archaeological artefacts found in Alexandria and her surrounding area, but all over Egypt. The Museum, situated in the heart of modern Alexandria, became the ‘inner sanctum’ which hosted the spirit of the ancient city, while contributing greatly to the formation of the city’s cosmopolitan consciousness and life style.
Fig. 162. Graeco-Roman museum of Alexandria
The story of its foundation goes back in 1884, when Giuseppe Botti, the Italian epigraphist and archaeologist came to Alexandria as director of the Italian school of the city. Incensed by the fact that antiquities were continuously transferred to Cairo, Botti argued for a museum in Alexandria. Hence in 1891 Botti, Sir Charles Cookson – the British consul in Alexandria- and other ‘Alexandrian nobles’122 founded the ‘Athenaeum’ society which main intention was the establishment of a museum for city’s treasures. In 1892, this goal was initially achieved by establishing a modest
Botti, 1900, preface.