Egyptian Miniature Sculptor Celebrates Art After Years of Denials and Lawsuits

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Belal was introduced to this art form by chance via social media, and after 20 failed attempts, he managed to carve his first piece in the shape of a little heart.

Belal faced a lot of criticism when he started this work and spends hours under the microscope to create his masterpieces. The most difficult miniature sculpture Belal made was the Mask of Tutankhamun because of the “winding cavity which was very difficult to carve on such a small surface”, he says.

“When I posted the first photos of my sculptures on social media, I was surprised by many negative and ironic comments,” Belal recalls and justifies it because miniature art is rare and made by a few professionals.

Belal’s carvings range from pharaonic models such as the mask of Tutankhamun, the head of Nefertiti, and the statue of Amenhotep III, and these carvings extend to include some modern monuments from Egypt and some Arab countries.

“There is not enough interest in this art in the Middle East, and I hope to create the first miniature museum that will include the whole history of Egypt, from the pharaonic era to the present day,” says Belal.

The sizes of the pencils Belal works on vary, ranging from 0.5mm to a maximum of 5mm, and it can take over 40 hours to complete his work on a single pencil.

“So far I have received requests from the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to make sculptures for them, but most requests now come from Egypt,” Belal explains.

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