Egyptian Museum -- camera safety?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by haysm7, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. I'm in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Egypt in the next several months. In my planning, I've read that absolutely no cameras are allowed inside the Antiquities Museum in Cairo. Could anyone who has been to this venue give me as detailed a description as possible of the procedure for checking and reclaiming your camera there? I'm concerned about the safety of my equipment -- I'm planning on taking an M6 and Summicron ASPH. Depending on what I hear between now and then, I may forego my beloved Leica and take a 35RC or something. (How about a Holga -- for maximum worry relief!)
    Separately, are there any other major sites in Egypt that require one to check his/her camera?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. All the museums we visited on a 2007 Photo Trek to Egypt (Pop Photo), did not allow cameras into the museum. Fortunately, our bus was guarded and equipment could be left there. The Valley of the Kings, etc., also do not allow cameras into the site or the tombs.
    I suppose there were some kind of facilities for checking a camera at those places, but thank Aten we didn't have to depend on them.
    Things have changed a lot, but you may want to leave your camera gear at your hotel either in the safe or room, perhaps, and make a special trip, just for the museum. By the way, you are aware that the museum is directly on Tahrir square?
     
  3. Everything was much easier when I was there in late 1973, especially since the museums were pretty much all closed because of the Ramadan War (حرب أكتوبر‎).
    But the square around the Egyptian Museum was much quieter.
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  4. Museums don't allow cameras so you'll buy their gift shop books and postcards. It's like the movie theaters - no outside food or drink - which I obey if they don't try and sell me a car. Otherwise, all bets are off.
     
  5. Museums don't allow cameras so you'll buy their gift shop books and postcards​
    Unfortunately, the items sold in the Egyptian Museum in 2007, did NOT include slides sets or even much in the way of quality picture books of the collections.
     
  6. When you enter the courtyard of the museum (outdoor area), there is a place to check your cameras, which you MUST do anyway. I've visited the museum several times and never felt it was unsafe to leave my camera bag with them (my bag was not my fanciest so as not to attract attention). I did make a mistake and have a pocket knife in my pocket and had to guarantee to check that, if I remember correctly. Some museums in Egypt do allow pix, such as the one in the city of Luxor. So always ask--it may be permitted, or sometimes a tip may help matters.
     
  7. I too had to leave my camera bag at the check-in counter just to the left of the main entrance, but too many other people were doing that anyway, so I took the risk. It was okay then (2007), but I would not do so now...things in Egypt were dodgy back then and, knowing the place and the people, I would NOT, under any circumstance, repeat that now! Any inkling that you have an expensive camera in there and I'd be you having trouble...
    On the other hand, first hand experience is king - so upon arriving there you might find increased security and it might alleviate your fears. However, do bear in mind that the museum is directly on Tahrir Square, the setting of all the protests, and the museum has had 7 break-ins since the riots, so...
     
  8. I travelled to Cairo and visited the museum in 2010, the year before the uprising. At that time I did not have to check my bag, I simply had to leave my camera in its case without ever taking it out. I have no idea if this is still the case or not, and I would echo the other's sentiments that I would not feel comfortable checking my camera at the front.
    I'm not sure how you are planning to get around Cairo, but based on my limited experience there I would highly recommend having both a guide and a driver to take you where you want to go - simply too challenging without, and I am someone who rarely wants a guide on my travels. That said, you are likely better off leaving the camera in the car with your driver than in the museum. Again, this is two-year-old information, and the security in the museum may be better now.
    Safe travels,
    Brad
     

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