Luring tourists back: Egypt adds security, new exhibts

CAIRO — The Egyptian government will spend $32 million to upgrade security in two Red Sea resorts popular with foreign tourists in the wake of recent attacks on hotels and the suspected terror bombing of a Russian airliner, the tourism minister said Thursday.

The move is designed to restore confidence in the safety of the country’s tourist attractions. According to the minister, Hisham Zaazou, the plan is to expand the use of security cameras, scanning and detection equipment and sniffer dogs in the towns of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.

Egypt has opened an exhibition of the latest batch of antiquities that have been returned to the country after they were spirited out illegally.

The exhibition, held in Cairo’s famed Egyptian Museum, has on display 198 artifacts from a total of about 500 pieces repatriated to Egypt in 2014 and 2015. The artifacts include 90 pieces from France, 55 from Germany and 35 from the United States.

Egypt has also unveiled what it says is the Middle East’s first museum dedicated to fossils and showcasing an early form of whales, now extinct and known as the “walking whale.”

The centerpiece of the Fossils and Climate Change Museum, is an intact, 37-million-year-old and 20-meter-long skeleton of a legged form of whale that shows how modern-day whales evolved from land mammals.

The museum opened Thursday near the Fayoum Oasis south of the capital, Cairo. It’s the latest effort by the authorities to attract much-needed tourists, driven away by recent militant attacks.