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Thursday, January 16, 2014
GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM: The World's Most Spectacular Museum
Egyptian Museum (GEM), potentially the "world's most spectacular
museum"under construction in Cairo, has literally withstood the test
of time and overcome several challenges in the past.
Evidence of that is once again at
hand, as about 75% of the foundation and basement work is now complete, despite
the severe political unrest that swept through Egypt in the past two years in
the wake of the Arab Spring.
Waleed Abdel Fattah, senior vice-president and North
Africa regional manager in the Cairo office of US-based Hill International,
explains that the next step will be construction of the vertical elements or
the superstructure.“A major
upcoming milestone will be the completion of the third floor by the summer of
2014,” he said, adding work will thereafter immediately commence on the ‘HVAC’
(air conditioning, ducting and related work) that will be over by the year end. The GEM –
touted as one of the largest museum developments currently underway globally –
will have three floors, he said. With an
allocated area of 480,000 square metres, the museum will be located nearly 2 kilometers away from the Giza pyramids adjacent to the Giza plateau, and on completion will become the intersection between modern and ancient Cairo directing
the public back to the ancient heritage of Egypt.
facility will offer an exhibition area of 35,000 square metres and house
100,000 artefacts. The
project construction consists of the following main elements: Museum and
Conference Center (Main Building); the Menkaurus Retaining Wall and other
retaining structures; auxiliary buildings including restaurants; car and coach
parking; exhibition works and an extensive external works package. The items
to be displayed will be organized into chronological galleries spanning the
ages of Pharaonic history including: Pre-History; Old Kingdom; Middle Kingdom;
New Kingdom; and Late and Roman Period. Besides, there will also be two special
areas for display, including the Grand Staircase and the Tutankhamun
building is shaped like a chamfered triangle in plan. It sits on a site two kilometers
west of the pyramids, near a motorway interchange. The building's north and
south walls line up directly with the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of
Menkaure. In front
of the building is a large plaza, filled with date plants. One of the main
features of the Museum is the translucent stone wall, made of alabaster, that
will make up the front facade of the building. Inside the main entrance is a
large atrium, where large statues will be exhibited.
museum is designed to include the latest technology, including virtual reality.
The Museum will also be an international center of communication between
museums, to promote direct contact with other local and international museums.
The Grand Egyptian Museum will include a children's museum, conference center,
training center, and workshops similar to the old Pharaonic places.Hill,
along with its Egyptian partner EHAF Consulting Engineers, was awarded in 2010
the project construction management contract by Egypt’s Ministry of Culture’s
Supreme Council of Antiquities.
genesis of the museum goes back to 1992 when a Presidential Decree was issued
to allocate nearly 50 hectares at the current site location in Giza for the
followed was a flurry of activities with more than 1,550 conceptual
architectural designs from 83 different countries being submitted by
international architects and firms. The most distinguished was the winning design
selected by the International Union of Architects in Paris on 2 June 2003. With more
than 4 million visitors anticipated to visit the museum, the first stage will
accommodate more than 15,000 artefacts, including heavy and special ones.“The GEM
is one of the national projects that is going ahead and is at present a focal
point,” Fattah said.