Probe opened into alleged graft in Grand Egyptian Museum
CAIRO: Egypt’s administrative prosecution has ordered an investigation into alleged embezzlement of funds allocated to construct the Grand Egyptian Museum, Youm7 reported Tuesday.
“In the next few days, the administrative prosecution authority is to contact several regularity authorities and the Antiquities Ministry for more information on the management and disbursement of financial aid allocated to construct the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM),” judicial source told Youm7.
The move comes after several media reports claimed the embezzlement of financial aid worth 150 million EGP ($20M) that had been granted by foreign organizations to support the construction of the GEM.
The new museum, sited on 120 acres of land, is located 2 km southwest of Giza Pyramids and was scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2015 but due to funding issues, it will not be inaugurated before 2018, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty has previously stated.
The GEM is scheduled to house over 100,000 artifacts including the treasures of Pharaoh Tutankhamen.
In 2006, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) granted Egypt a concessional loan worth U.S. $400 million with a 1.5 percent interest rate over 30 years, and a grace period of 10 years, to construct the museum, Technical Supervisor at the Executive Committee of the Grand Egyptian Museum Wagih Hanna previously told the Cairo Post.
The construction of the three-phase project, which includes the construction of the museum’s main building and implementation of the master plan, landscape parks and surrounding site infrastructure, began in March 2012 with two phases accomplished so far.