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Monday, April 23, 2018

GEM prepares for high-level international participation at opening ceremony - Daily News Egypt

GEM prepares for high-level international participation at opening ceremony

Japanese co-financed project to be complete by December, open end-January

Tarek Tawfik, general supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), told Daily News Egypt that the museum is preparing for high-level international participation at the GEM's opening, planned for the end of January 2019.

Tawfik added that he has fully coordinated with many other ministries for the opening, like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, and Ministry of Tourism, as well as the presidency. However, the museum's construction is planned to be complete by December.

Tawfik noted that ticket prices have not been determined yet, adding, "we have a committee which is studying ticket suggestions, but the prices will be at the global average for foreigners and affordable for Egyptian families and citizens."

Khaled El-Anany, Egypt's antiquities minister, said recently that he received governmental support of EGP 3bn in one year, which was spent on many major projects, including the GEM, adding, "the governmental financial support allowed us to resume the work [on the GEM]. The percentage of completion was 20% 24 months ago, but it increased to about 75% now,"

"We have already secured 90% of the needed cost from both the Japanese and Egyptian sides, which is why you can note remarkable developments at the site now," noted Tawfik.

Meanwhile, he said that international companies are encouraged to apply for the GEM's management tender, scheduled to be announced by June.

Tawfik added that the GEM is now preparing for the planned tender's contract terms, saying, "the best technical and financial offer will win the tender. The company will be responsible only for its management, under the control of the GEM's economic authority, according to the Egyptian law on antiquities."

In October 2016, Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr received letters of intent for the GEM project from the Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Takehiro Kagawa, estimated by ¥46.409bn (about $450m), to resume the construction of the GEM, according to a ministerial press release.

The GEM is situated only 2 km away from the ancient pyramids of Giza. It is being built on a plot of land of approximately 117 feddans, about 480,000 sqm.

The new museum will pay homage to permanent ancient Egyptian monuments, treasures, and history. It will house over 100,000 artefacts. Of those, about 3,500 belong to the famous King Tutankhamun, according to the GEM's official website.

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