A LETTER TO THE ARCE MEMBERSHIP FROM GERRY SCOTT Find us
Dear ARCE Members,
I have had the privilege of leading the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) as its Director since 2003, but have decided not to continue beyond the term of my current contract at the end of this coming August.
I assumed the ARCE directorship at a time when there was considerable doubt about ARCE's future direction, particularly its financial stability and its relationship with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as ARCE's initial grant from USAID was nearing its end. Fortunately, we successfully negotiated a follow-on grant from USAID and subsequent grants have also been received. These grants have had a tremendously positive impact on Egypt's "Antiquities Sector," as our colleagues at USAID would say, both in terms of monuments preserved for future generations, large and small, and in the training of Egypt's future antiquities professionals in such fields as archaeology, conservation, museum studies, and field photography. Importantly, they have also allowed ARCE to provide our service to our members and cover our operating costs.
In 2004 we established ARCE's Antiquities Endowment Fund Grants (AEF) which have done so much good in Egypt and the United States. Since its creation ARCE has awarded 113 AEF grants for worthy conservation, training, and publication projects to continue to preserve Egypt's cultural heritage.
In all, ARCE has raised more than $43 million in gifts and grants, which has allowed ARCE and its member institutions to carry out important projects at Karnak, Luxor, Mut, Khonsu, and Deir el-Shelweit temples in Luxor, in addition to the funerary structure of King Khasekhemwy II at Abydos, the Theban tomb of Mena, the Red Monastery at Sohag, and the Mosque of Aslam al-Silahdar in Cairo, to name only a few. Our training programs have included Egypt's first field school in salvage archaeology, critically needed for Egypt's future, and creating the first museum registrar’s office in Egypt.
In addition, ARCE has established a permanent development director position to help with ARCE's future fund-raising and conducted a successful endowment campaign that has added more than $3.2 million to ARCE's operating endowment.
My term has also seen the turbulent days of the Egyptian revolution, a time that saw clashes, tear gas, and tanks in the streets outside of ARCE's Cairo headquarters. Throughout ARCE was able to continue its programs and was able to assist, including aiding the recovery of Egypt's Museum of Islamic Art, damaged as a result of a bomb blast; providing income for a devastated Luxor economy by offering employment at a time when tourism virtually ground to a halt; and holding an important symposium on revolution and the arts for the academic and artistic community in Cairo.
Of course, ARCE has continued to serve our Members with assistance to Member Expeditions, our Fellows, and our individual Members with our Annual Meetings, Journal, and Bulletin. ARCE has also reinvigorated its publications, producing nine scholarly volumes in recent years.
I close this letter by offering my sincere thanks to ARCE's dedicated staff in Cairo, Luxor, and especially the San Antonio staff who have served ARCE so well for the past number of years. I wish them the best for the future. I also express my deepest thanks to you, our Members, for your support and generosity over the years of my directorship, and I wish each of you the very best in the coming years.
Gerry D. Scott, III
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS
The International Council of Museums, in an effort to fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods, compiles the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk. This list aims to help art and heritage professionals and law enforcement officials identify Egyptian objects that are protected by national and international legislations. View the Red List for Egypt.