Development and presentation of the site and the tombs
For years, the MAFB/FAMB has devoted energy, time, and financial means to this task. As always, this is an essential aspect of the work of every archaeological mission in Egypt. Having long been aware of this, and having accepted the principle and its implications, we have made no excuses in the name of “science” or “pure research” that should not be subjected to these vulgar preoccupations—as others have sometimes managed to do. Quite the contrary, we have quietly, and without making objections or excuses, assumed this difficult burden.
For all missions and for all countries, as the authorities of the SCA ceaselessly remind us, site management has quite simply become, along with conservation and restoration, an absolute necessity and the indispensable condition for the pursuit of field work and, in particular, of excavations in Egypt. For us, for Egyptologists involved in the field, this means taking steps that are beneficial not only to the sites, but also to science and, more generally, to culture in the highest sense of the word. Management of patrimony and cultural demands can and should be compatible, as we have already demonstrated, it seems to me, on several occasions at our own site.
Moreover, this is a matter of cooperation, in the best sense of the word and in its most current sense, and it is precisely this which is at the heart of French foreign policy in its relations with a great number of developing countries, and thus of the policy of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. More than ever before, the MAFB/FAMB counts on “playing the game” with complete honesty, in the hope of receiving all the support necessary to do it, and in the conviction that the site of the Bubasteion
can become, in this regard, an example and a model (because of the problems it poses and because of the way we are managing and shall continue to manage it) that can facilitate projects that absolutely must be undertaken at Saqqara
, and in which France (and the European Union) of course must participate.