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Heba Khairy

Grand Egyptian Museum

Senior Project Coordinator

Country: Egypt

ITP Year: 2017


Heba is Senior Project Coordinator at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), where she is responsible for coordinating and managing the exhibitions and fit-out work with contractors and subcontractors. Her role currently sees her working on an international project related to developing a destination sustainability strategy relevant to heritage, culture and local communities in the Middle East.

Heba previously managed the Collection Database at the Grand Egyptian Museum. She worked in various storerooms and museums all over Egypt to select, identify and document artefacts to be displayed in GEM. This involved data entry, taking measurements and photography. She kept object information up to date by referring to register books and resources in libraries, storerooms, and museums. She worked with conservators and other departments, providing them with object data, including the data related to the conditions of objects. She supported the future display of objects inside the museum galleries by working with the exhibitions team to provide information and identify where more information is needed about the collection.

Since 2020 Heba has also been working in the technical office of the General Director of GEM. In this role she coordinates archaeological work in cooperation with the building contractors and exhibition designer. Heba is also the project coordinator from a new GEM project, the transportation of King Khufu’s solar boat, moving the boat from the Giza plateau to its new home at the museum.

In 2018 Heba started her Joint masters degree programme at Helwan University in Egypt, and Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg in Germany. Her MA is on Heritage Conservation and Site Management and she is preparing her thesis on heritage conservation and community development using the Grand Egyptian Museum as a case study.

Heba participated in the Memphis Site and Community development project and field school by USAID, York University and AERA Ancient Egypt Research Associates. The project aims to conserve and preserve the heritage of Memphis, the Ancient Egyptian Capital, and raise the awareness of the local community. She also participated in the safeguarding and documentation projects of The Mamluk Complex of Sultan Inal Mosque and Madrasa (School) and the ottoman Mosque of Ulty Barmaq in Historic Cairo under the supervision of BTU University, Germany.

In 2023 Heba spent an amazing three months as Fulbright PhD scholar working inside the Egypt Art department, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York, USA.  Her project revolved around the collection management procedures and policies that the MET maintain for the best governance and management of its collection. This was in addition to working closely with the collection management system and the Digital Assets system of the MET. She also spent time dealing with other MET departments which are involved in the collection management process and policy makers.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme 2017, Heba was based in the Department of Egypt and Sudan and spent her partner placement with the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford.

In 2017 participants were asked to develop a proposal for an Asahi Shimbun Display – a temporary exhibition in Room 3 at the British Museum – based around a ‘spotlight’ object. Heba worked with fellow Ala Talebian (Iran) on her exhibition proposal project, entitled The Legend of the Winged Disc: From Egypt to Iran.

Heba’s participation on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the De Laszlo Foundation.

Legacy Projects
In April 2018 Heba attended the ITP Egypt reunion, hosted by the Egyptian Embassy in Cairo.

In October 2018 the ITP supported Heba’s participation in the ICOM International Committee for Egyptology annual conference, held at the Egypt Centre at Swansea University where she delivered her research paper. Heba also attended the Museums and digital memory: from creation and curation to digital preservation conference at the British Museum during her trip to the UK.

In November 2018 Heba participated in the ITP MA Conference programme in Belfast. With fellows from Kenya, Lesotho and Turkey Heba attended a programme structured around National Museums Northern Ireland and the 3-day MA Conference on Dissent: inspiring hope, embracing change.

In 2020, Heba attended the International Training Programme’s series of online subject specialist sessions. Heba attended:
Circulating Artefacts: A global platform against the looting and trafficking of cultural property
Setting up a Subject Specialist Network (SSN)

Through 2022, working with colleagues in the Department of Egypt and Sudan, Heba co-curated a display in Room 4, the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery, at the British Museum.  This project was to enable the British Museum to commemorate the centenary of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, which was opened in November 1922.  The theme of the case was the legacy of Tutankhamun and how he is viewed by Egyptians today.  The display formed the last stop on a short Tutankhamun trail which focused on the political and religious background of Tutankhamun’s reign. Heba was also able to support the British Museum’s Asahi Shimbun display in Room 3. The exhibition, Tutankhamun: reimagined, sought to explore both ancient and modern Egyptian relationships with the image of Tutankhamun, by placing both ancient and contemporary objects alongside each other.

ITP Newsletter Publications
ITP Newsletter Issue 8 (2021) Bulletin board: The Grand Egyptian Museum: a new culture, heritage and community hub in Egypt
ITP Newsletter Issue 10 (2023) Tutankhamun Reimagined: ITP co-curation project

Continued Dialogue
In May 2023, Heba gave an online talk titled The Grand Egyptian Museum: A New Edifice for Egyptian Heritage for Lakeside Arts (in partnership with the University of Nottingham Museum and Museum Keeper, Clare Pickersgill).

Heba is now part of the Reimagining the British Museum International Working Group (IWG) which has invited international museum and cultural heritage experts to collaborate with the Museum and support the development of outline briefs for new suites of permanent galleries at the British Museum through online monthly meetings and workshops in London.