Wednesday, December 2, 2015

News: 216M EGP allocated to Grand Egyptian Museum in December

CAIRO: The Cabinet approved 216 million EGP ($27.5 million) in another amount of Egypt’s share in funding the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) to be dispensed in December.

The funding of the construction of the museum will be set in the country’s budgets from 2016 to 2019, according to a Cabinet decree Tuesday. The finance amounts to $100 million every year, totaling $300 million by 2019.

In October, Egypt’s administrative prosecution has ordered an investigation into alleged embezzlement of funds allocated to construct the Grand Egyptian Museum, Youm7 reported.

The move came 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. AP quoted Damaty as saying that GEM’s directorship will be international and independent.

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.

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