“A Wonderful Birth Story”, an exhibition of items that centre on the Nativity of Christ, is currently being held at the Coptic Museum in Cairo. The exhibition opened on 23 December 2023 by Moemen Othman, Head of the Museums Sector at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and runs for one month.
The opening was attended by prominent figures in the field of antiquities and Coptic archaeology, as well as members of the clergy of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The exhibition showcases 13 artefacts including manuscripts, icons, as well as textile, metalwork, and woodwork; they all shed light on rare and different scenes from the Nativity of Christ.
The singular collection boasts a 17th-century icon representing Archangel Gabriel announcing to the Holy Virgin that she would give birth to Jesus Christ; a 17th-century manuscript of the Four Gospels in Arabic; a 7th-century bronze incense burner with inscriptions representing various events in the life of Jesus Christ, including scenes of the Annunciation and Nativity; and an Arabic language manuscript of the Coptic Synaxarium which lists daily readings of saints, martyrs, fasts, and feasts.
The collection also includes a rare icon depicting various scenes from the life of Saint Nicholas, known as Santa Claus; a manuscript containing praises for the Holy Virgin; and a 6th – 7th century piece of Coptic textile depicting an angel carrying a wreath.