Institut d'Égypte

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Institute in Cairo, Egypt, for study and promotion of Egyptian culture.

Napoléon Bonaparte founded the Institut d'Égypte (al-Majma al-Ilmi al-Misri) in Cairo in 1798. Its members were the elite of the French expedition's Commission des Sciences et Arts, whose massive Déscription de l'Égypte (18091826) surveyed all aspects of the Egyptian scene. The institute disappeared when the French evacuated Egypt in 1801.

Inspired by the original institute, Europeans founded the Institut Egyptien in Alexandria in 1859 with Saʿid Pasha's approval. Egyptologist Auguste Mariette was among the forty-odd European founders. The Egyptian scholar Rifaʿa al-Rafi al-Tahtawi and Egypt's future prime minister Nubar Pasha were among the seven Middle Eastern founders. The institute maintained a library, sponsored lectures, and published a bulletin and scholarly memoirs. The institute was moved to Cairo in 1880, and resumed the Napoleonic name Institut d'Égypte in 1918. When most European residents left Egypt during Gamal Abdel Nasser's tenure in office, the membership became mostly Egyptian. Neglected by the government since 1952 when Nasser's coup took place, the institute struggles to find funds to keep up its publications, its building just off Cairo's central square, and its once impressive library.

See also mariette, auguste; nubar pasha; tahtawi, rifaʿa al-rafi al-.


Reid, Donald Malcolm. Whose Pharaohs? Archaeology, Museums, and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

donald malcolm reid

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Institut d'Égypte

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Institut d'Égypte