MARCUS SIMAIKA (1864-1944)
The Founder of the Coptic Museum. He was born in Cairo to venerable and prosperous Coptic parents. From his youth he showed great interest in Egypt’s Christian monuments. It is to his well-deserved credit that he founded the Coptic Museum in 1908. He succeeded in attracting the Coptic Church and the Egyptian public to support his efforts in establishing the museum. In 1906, Simaika became a member of the Commission for the Preservation of the Arab Monuments and later its chairman.
He was able to place the ancient Coptic churches and monasteries under the supervision of that committee. In collaboration with Yassa ‘Abd al-Masih, he published the Catalogue of the Coptic and Arabic Manuscripts in the Coptic Museum, the Patriarchate, the Principal Churches of Cairo and Alexandria and the Monasteries of Egypt, in two volumes (Cairo, 1939-1942).