In 2000, the Nubia Museum was enriched with a new gallery, located in the hall for the temporary exhibitions, as well as additions to the existing collection. The new gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of 168 40cmx40cm photos, enlarged from the originals, of the historical sites now under Lake Nasser, which is also where most of the objects in the museum come from. The exhibition is called ‘Nubia Submerged’.
Promoted by the Italian Embassy in Cairo’s Scientific Attaché Office, directed by Engineer Giuseppe Marino and whose curator is the Nubiologist Maria Costanza De Simone, the gallery was officially opened to the public in April 2001 in the presence of Egyptian Minister of Culture H.E. Farouk Hosni and Italian Ambassador in Cairo H.E. Mario Sica.
The photos, generously offered by people and institutions involved in the several salvage operations, are displayed in the form of an open-air museum with photos of tombs, settlements, fortresses, temples, churches and mosques, as well as recent panoramic shots that reveal what the bed of Lake Nasser looks like today. They witness the cultural development of the area from prehistoric to modern times.
Comments written by people who struggled at the time to save or at least document this wonderful heritage accompany visitors to the museum in their journey through time and space.
This exhibition is dedicated to Heqaib, an important official appointed Governor of Elephantine and Caravan Leader during the reign of the Pharaoh Pepi II, c.2246-2152 B.C. The name of Heqaib is very important in the history of the area of Aswan during the Pharaonic period. His tomb is located on the hill of Qubbet el Hawa on the west bank of Aswan, and his temple (he was deified) on the island of Elephantine.
The exhibition displays objects found during excavations, carried out by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities, in the area of the temple more than 50 years ago. Here were found more than one hundred objects , such as stelae, altars, offering tables and statues, many of them dedicated to Heqaib by his successors, and others by local priest and official who lived in the Cataract Region during XIth-XIIIth dynasties.