An­tiq­ui­ties min­istry to al­lo­cate EGP 10m for Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum’s em­ploy­ees’ wages next FY

The Daily News Egypt - - Business | Tourism - By Ab­del Razek Sh­weikhy and Basma Ragab

Egypt’s Min­istry of An­tiq­ui­ties asked the Min­istry of Fi­nance to al­lo­cate EGP 10m in wages and salar­ies for the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum’s em­ploy­ees in the state bud­get of fis­cal year (FY) 2017/2018, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial at the Min­istry of An­tiq­ui­ties.

The of­fi­cial said that the govern­ment has de­cided five months ago to trans­form the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum into an eco­nomic body, so that it can achieve rev­enues that will en­able the mu­seum to cover its needs. How­ever, the project is sched­uled to be opened in July 2018, and the mu­seum has no fi­nan­cial re­sources at this time.

The Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (JICA) has ap­proved the Min­istry of An­tiq­ui­ties’ re­quest to in­crease the loan al­lo­cated for the es­tab­lish­ment of the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum to $700m in­stead of $300m.

The cost of es­tab­lish­ing the mu­seum is es­ti­mated at $1bn, of which $860m is pro­vided by JICA. Es­tab­lished on 117 fed­dans, the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum is set to be the world’s largest mu­seum, with the main ex­hi­bi­tion built on a third of its to­tal area.The mu­seum in­cludes en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties and com­mer­cial build­ings next to the mu­seum gar­den, all of which make the mu­seum a new mon­u­ment by it­self—ready to wel­come 8 mil­lion vis­i­tors per year.The Min­istry of An­tiq­ui­ties in­tends to trans­fer 2,000 an­tiq­ui­ties to the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum this year in prepa­ra­tion for the par­tial open­ing of the mu­seum.

More than 40,000 ar­ti­facts were trans­ferred to the mu­seum’s restora­tion cen­tre, of which 31,000 mon­u­ments have been re­stored, in­clud­ing 2,700 ar­ti­facts be­long­ing to King Tu­tankhamun, ac­cord­ing to the project’s su­per­vi­sor,Tareq Taw­fik, in a pre­vi­ous press state­ment to Daily News Egypt.

The Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum will be one of the most im­por­tant mon­u­ments in Egypt af­ter the com­ple­tion of the project in 2022, aim­ing to pro­vide more tourist in­flow to Egypt and tourism rev­enues, ac­cord­ing to the gen­eral su­per­vi­sor of the project, adding that the project is a big leap in the projects im­ple­mented by the min­istry dur­ing the re­cent pe­riod.

The Min­istry ofAn­tiq­ui­ties hopes to par­tially open the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum in the first half of 2018, while the mu­seum will be fully opened in 2022.

Taw­fik added that the min­istry has com­pleted the con­struc­tion phase rep­re­sent­ing 52% of the to­tal project. He pointed out the min­istry is now work­ing on com­plet­ing the in­te­rior ex­hibits and the out­door squares, which in­cludes green ar­eas and parks.

Taw­fik said the es­ti­mated cost of the project is $1bn, which is likely to in­crease af­ter the Cen­tral Bank of Egypt’s de­ci­sion to float the ex­change rate.

JICA has se­cured $860m of the to­tal project’s cost in a fa­cil­i­tated loan, while the Egyp­tian govern­ment pro­vided $250m.

The main build­ing is lo­cated on an area of 160,000 square me­tres—mak­ing it the world’s largest ex­hi­bi­tion. The mu­seum in­cludes 14 restora­tion labs for all an­tiq­ui­ties: wooden, heavy (more than 250 kg), and small an­tiq­ui­ties,as well as the Grand Stair­well—on which 100 king stat­ues will be placed to show­case the dif­fer­ent eras of An­cient Egyp­tian his­tory—in ad­di­tion to a con­fer­ence hall that can ac­com­mo­date up to 1,000 vis­i­tors a day.

The Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (JICA) has ap­proved the Min­istry of An­tiq­ui­ties’ re­quest to in­crease the loan al­lo­cated for the es­tab­lish­ment of the Grand Egyp­tian Mu­seum to $700m in­stead of $300m

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