Instead of removing artifacts from the water and bringing them to tourists, it will soon be the other way around. A $150 million museum is being planned that will bring guests to the relics' location on the Egyptian seabed.
The Ministry of Antiquities in Egypt is planning to turn submerged ruins of ancient Alexandria into an underwater museum, allowing tourists access to 2,500 of subsurface stonework dating back to 365 AD.
Designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie, the plans were put on hold for years during a period of regional turmoil, but are now said to be back on track.
Fiberglass tunnels will connect waterfront galleries to underwater viewing areas where visitors can see the ruins in context.
The museum will feature four tall buildings with fiberglass tunnels to the 22-foot-deep viewing platforms.There will be glass submarines that can tour the area and the opportunity to dive around the site for a closer look at the relics.
Many of the treasures in Alexandria were submerged during in the Middle Ages due to earthquakes, but now they can be admired once again, if plans are approved.
Part of the purpose of the project is to further protect the ruins, which are prominent targets for thieves and difficult to police without permanent surrounding infrastructure and round-the-lock eyes on the site.
Guests will be able to admire the sunken Pharos Lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as the Royal Court or Cleopatra's Palace, of which over 60 pieces have survived, including a sunken sphinx.
"The museum will reshape the Arab region, as it will be the first of its kind in the world," said Youssef Khalifa, chair of the Central Administration of Lower Egypt Antiquities. "Undoubtedly it will revive tourism and boost the Egyptian economy after a long recession."
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