Showing posts with label Giza Plateau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giza Plateau. Show all posts

Sunday, September 20, 2020

News, Giza: GEM receives 2,000 ancient artefacts from across Egypt.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza has, amid tight security provided by Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Police, received 2,000 artefacts for display in its various halls.
The artefacts were previously located at the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the Museum Store in Tell El-Yahudiyeh in the Nile Delta, and at the Giza Pyramids antiquities area.
GEM General Supervisor Atef Moftah said that, following the arrival of the new collection, the museum is now home to about 54,000 artefacts. 

“Among the most important pieces received on Saturday are two columns of pink granite from the reign of King Ramses II, each measuring 6 metres high and each weighing 13 tonnes,” Moftah said, “They will be displayed in the Great Staircase following the museum’s opening.”
Issa Zaidan, Director General of Executive Affairs for the Restoration and Transfer of Antiquities at GEM, said that the process of transporting and receiving antiquities is proceeding according to the specified schedule. The museum’s opening has been delayed to 2021, due to the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He added that 47 wooden pieces have also been transferred from the second Khufu boat located at the Giza Pyramids Plateau. A total of 1,053 wooden pieces from the boat now call the GEM home.








Sunday, December 16, 2018

News: Egypt's Antiquities Council Signs Contract with Orascom to Update Tourist Facilities at Giza Pyramids

The company will provide buses and golf carts for transport inside the plateau, will train horse and camel drivers and give them a uniform, and will create WiFi services, signs, maps and other facilities. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has signed a contract with Orascom Investment to allow the latter to provide and operate the facilities at the Giza Plateau, under the supervision of the council.

The signing of contract came after almost a year of negotiations, and after the approval of the cabinet, and aims to upgrade the services available to visitors to the pyramids.

Mustafa Waziri, the general-secretary of the council, told Ahram Online that the facilities and services include a promotional campaign for the site, and operating the parking area located outside the archaeological site just in front of entrance on the Fayoum Road.

Vehicles will be prohibited from entering the site, and the company will instead provide 20 golf carts and 30 buses for visitors, operated with renewable energy, to circulate inside the site. It will also run the services at the site visitor centre, which consists of a collection of shops, cafeterias and a cinema.

“The films on display at this cinema will be revised and have the approval of the Supreme Council of Antiquities before they are shown,” Waziri said. He added that Orascom will also install 20 mobile toilets and a medical centre for first aid facilities in different areas in the plateau which would be selected and approved by the council.

It will also provide new services such as mobile application for the site, free Wi-Fi services, signage, visitor maps, and kiosks for photographs and paintings of visitors. A cleaning company will be provided, as well as a security one to safeguard the services area.

“The Tourism and Antiquities Police and the Supreme Council of Antiquities guards are the only ones to secure the general site, the visitors and the archaeological site,” said Waziri, adding that the security provided by the company is only to safeguard the places where services are provided.

He explained that according to the signed contract the company will train craftsmen, camel and horse owners, peddlers, and photographers in order to upgrade their skills to deal with tourists and visitors, and will buy them new horse carts to replace the out-dated ones. A special place will be allocated for them, as well as a uniform.

Waziri said that it is the first time such services to visitors are provided through a specialised Egyptian company in order to facilitate a visiting route inside the plateau within a complete system that respects the archaeological environment and antiquities laws and regulations.

He underlined that the contract allots half the revenue from the services provided to the council. “If the company does not succeed to make any benefits, it has to pay an agreed minimum amount to the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“The Supreme Council of Antiquities has the authority to select and hire any authority to review the financial account of the company and supervise the execution of all articles in the contracts, in order to guarantee the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ rights,” Waziri said, adding that the council also has the right to end the contract at any time should the company breach any of its obligations stipulated in the contract.

He added that the council is the only body that received the revenues from the tickets and bus services inside the plateau which will be part of the ticket price. The Supreme Council of Antiquities is the authority with full responsibility for the archaeological site.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

News, Giza: Japan's New Ambassador to Egypt Pays Visit to Khufu's Second Solar Boat

The newly appointed Japanese ambassador to Egypt visits the restoration project of Khufu’s second solar boat as the first archaeological site in his long tour list. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Masaki Noke, the newly appointed Japanese ambassador to Egypt, visited on Thursday the restoration project of Khufu’s second solar boat in Giza Plateau.

Ambassador Noke viewed the techninque which the Egyptian and Japanese archaeologists are using to lift up the boat’s wooden beams from its original location inside the pit to the surface, before transporting it to the site laboratory for restoration and consolidation.

Eissa Zidan, the head of the Restoration Department of the project, told Ahram Online that the Japanese archaelogist Sakuji Yoshimura, the head of the restoration team, explained to Ambassador Noke that "restoring the second solar boat of king Khufu was his dream to come true.'

Yoshimura said "the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), had helped him realise his dream by supporting and financing the project."

The JICA will continue its support of the project until the restoration and reconstruction of the boat is completed and the boat is readied to be on show at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

Zidan told Ahram Online that the restoration team has so far succeeded in removing 866 pieces from the pit, and restored 840 pieces and transported around 700 pieces to the GEM’s restoration centre.

The first phase of the project began over 20 years ago. In 1992, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University, in collaboration with the Japanese government, provided a grant of $10 million to remove the boat from its original pit, restore and reassemble it, and put it on show to the public.

The team first cleaned the pit of insects then Japanese technicians inserted a camera through a hole in the chamber's limestone to assess the boat's condition inside the pit and the possibility of its restoration.

The team’s inspection showed that the second boat was in a much better state of preservation than the first one discovered in 1954. Khufu's first solar boat was discovered by the late architect and archaeologist Kamal El-Malakh, together with Zaki Nour, during routine cleaning on the south side of the Great Pyramid.

The first boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of master restorer Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling the boat. The second boat remained sealed in its pit until 1987, when it was examined by the American National Geographic Society via remote camera.

After the space inside the pit was photographed and air measurements were taken, the pit was resealed. It was initially believed that the pit had been so well sealed thus the air inside must have been preserved since ancient Egyptian times. Sadly, though, Yoshimura pointed out that this was not the case, explaining that air had leaked into the pit from outside and mixed with the air inside and this had allowed insects to thrive and negatively affect some wooden beams.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

News, Giza: Ancient Egyptian Artifacts From Al-Bahnasa Arrives at the GEM

A collection of 71 artifacts were transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum in preparation for its opening in 2020. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) received a collection of 71 artifacts today from Al-Bahnasa archaeological site in the Minya governorate in Upper Egypt.

Tarek Tawfiq, GEM Supervisor General, told Ahram Online that the collection includes several important ancient Egyptian pieces, such as the beautiful Nes-Ptah’s sarcophagus with an anthropoid lid. Nes-Ptah was a noble and son of Thebes’ and overseer Montumhat. The sarcophagus is inscribed with hieroglyphic texts and weighs a staggering five tons.

The collection also includes a red granite sarcophagus for a noble named User Montu, weighing three tonnes, as well as three colossi depicting the lioness goddess Sekhmet seated on the throne holding the symbol of life Ankh and the sun disk upon her head. 

Lastly, four canopic jars, with lids depicting the four sons of Horus, were also one of the artifacts transported to the GEM.

Eissa Zidan, Head of the First Aid Restoration Department at the GEM, explained that the collection was subjected to documentation and restoration before it was packed and transported.  The valuable collection was placed inside wooden boxes and covered with special foam layers which absorb the vibrations caused during transportation.

The GEM complex, located overlooking the Giza plateau, is a cultural institution located on an area of approximately 500,000 m2. Adjacent to the Pyramids of Giza, the complex includes one of the largest museums in the world, displaying the heritage of the Egyptian civilization. It will contain over 100,000 artifacts, reflecting Egypt's past from prehistory through the Greek and Roman periods in Egypt.

The museum is set to open in 2020. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

News, Giza: Red Granite Head of King Senusret I Arrives at the Grand Egyptian Museum


The head of a statue of King Senusret I arrived safely at the Grand Egyptian Museum for restoration. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) received a red granite head Friday from a statue of King Senusret I from the antiquities ministry storage galleries in the Cairo Citadel. The transportation came within the framework of the Ministry of Antiquities’ mission to prepare for the museum’s grand opening, which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.

GEM’s general supervisor, Tarek Tawfik, explained that the head is carved from red granite and has the common artistic features found in pieces attributed to the Middle Kingdom. 

The head, which was discovered in 2005 in Souq Al-Khamis at the Matriya archaeological site in 2005 by an Egyptian-German mission, portrays the facial features of King Senusret I wearing a partial headdress.

The statue’s royal beard, which was discovered separated 10 metres away from the corresponding head in 2008, was also transported to the museum. The head, according to Ayman Ashmawy, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Section who discovered the artifact in 2005, measures 122 cm x 108cm x 75cm and weighs roughly two tons.

Eissa Zidan, general director of the First Aid Restoration Department at the GEM, said Friday that the restoration team and archaeologists used the latest technology in the packing and transportation of the head and beard, which required wooden beams to settle the objects onto a hydraulic crane for lifting.

The head and beard are now at the GEM conservation centre for restoration, study, examination, analysis and documentation, while a three-dimensional imaging technique will be used to illustrate the suggested methods to re-attach the head to the beard.

Monday, June 11, 2018

News, Giza: Egypt's GEM Announces Pre-Qualification Stage for Bidding on Facilities Management

The submission of pre-qualification applications is scheduled for Tuesday, 24 July, after which a list of qualified applicants will be announced mid-August. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

Towards the rear of the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), where the granite colossus of King Ramses II proudly stands, Egypt's ministers of investment and international cooperation, antiquities and tourism, and Giza's governor, gathered along with a group of foreign ambassadors to Egypt.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced Sunday in a press conference addressing local and international companies and consortiums the opening of a pre-qualification stage for those hoping to bid for the contract to manage and operate facilities at the GEM complex overlooking the Giza Plateau. The press conference was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, and supported by the Ministry of Tourism.

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said that GEM's facilities include a conference centre for 1,000 people, a cinema for 500 people, 10 restaurants, with two overlooking the Giza pyramids, food courts, bookshops and other retail outlets, a traditional arts and crafts centre, and a multifunctional building that could be for administrative purposes or as a boutique hotel.

El-Enany asserted that the Ministry of Antiquities is the only authority responsible for the management and security of GEM‘s treasured collection as well as anything related to antiquities, such as exhibition halls, the maintenance and restoration centre, and the children’s museum.

Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat said that GEM, the largest and most significant cultural project in process globally, is going to be a wonderful tourism attraction that blends history with a modern and authentic twist. “Egypt is the world’s capital of cultural tourism,” she pointed out, adding that nothing will make a bolder statement than when this magnificent museum has its official opening.

"And to complement GEM, the Giza Plateau is undergoing a massive renovation project to include boutique hotels, restaurants and cinemas and we’re determined to give all that come to visit the most wonderful experience," Al-Mashat said. "The whole undertaking will reflect the splendor of Egyptian history in an attractive and modern way for international visitors, and for everyone throughout Egypt," she added. Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr expressed her happiness to be at GEM to announce the launch of the prequalification stage of bidding for the facilities management contract.

She described the GEM complex as a state-of-the-art, world class destination, and cultural and touristic hub comprising large investment opportunities. “These opportunities are available online on the investment map where investors are encouraged to explore the area and location and see nearest facilities services and other landmarks,” she pointed out… READ MORE.

Monday, May 7, 2018

News Giza: Egyptian Antiquities Minister Assures That Last Week's Fire did Little Damage to Grand Egyptian Museum

El-Enany with media at the GEM
Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany escorted members of the media on a tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza to show that the fire that broke out at the museum last week did little damage to the museum. Written by/ Nevine El-Aref.

The visit included a tour of the museum buildings as well as the display of the King Ramses II colossus and artifacts at the GEM’s conservation centre.

Last Sunday, a minor fire broke out on the wooden scaffolding on the museum’s rear façade. No one was harmed and no artifacts were damaged in the fire. One hour after the fire broke out, the museum’s fire station, with aid from Civilian Security fire trucks, succeeded in extinguishing the flames, Mostafa Waziri Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said at the time.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the blaze. The GEM is currently under construction, with scaffolding positioned outside several buildings. 
The museum is being built to house antiquities from ancient Egypt, including many items currently held at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square. A partial opening is planned for later this year.

Monday, April 16, 2018

New, Giza: Luxor Museum's Tut Collection Moved to Grand Egyptian Museum.

A collection of 122 artifacts from the King Tutankhamun collection previously housed at the Luxor Museum was successfully transported to its new home in the Grand Egyptian Museum late Tuesday night. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
A gilded bust representing the cow goddess Hathor
The collection includes baskets, boxes, a wooden chair, a bed and a chariot, among other pieces. Among the most treasured, is a gilded head of the goddess Hathor, according to Tarek Tawfik, Supervisor General of the GEM.

A number of other artefacts shed light on funerary ritual practices and daily life during Tutankhamun's roughly ten-year reign.

Eissa Zidan, head of restoration at the GEM, told Ahram Online that all pieces had been restored before transportation and were packed over a period of nine days and according to the latest scientific techniques.

He added that a Japanese team of archaeologists helped the Egyptian team in packing and transporting Tutankhamun's funerary chariot in a specially-designed vehicle to protect against vibrations.

The Grand Egyptian Museum, located on the Giza plateau, is set to open later this year.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

News, Giza: Portuguese President de Sousa And Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Tour Giza Pyramids

Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany gifted the Portuguese president with a replica of King Khufu's funerary boat. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.
El-Enany, De Sousa and Tawfik at the GEM
Accompanied by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and his diplomatic delegation toured the monuments of the Giza plateau and both Egyptian museums on Friday.

At the plateau they visited the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx, and the panorama area where El-Enany spoke to President de Sousa and his delegation on the greatness of ancient Egyptian civilization.

De Sousa and the delegation expressed their fondness for Egypt's distinguished heritage and insisted on documenting their visit by taking photos in front of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx.

The group also toured the Grand Egyptian Museum's conservation centre and lab for wooden artifacts which currently houses the recently transferred King Tutankhamun collection.

They also visited the lab for heavy artefacts, which houses the colossi of Kings Amenhotep III and Menkaure, which will soon be displayed in the museum's grand staircase and atrium, respectively.

The Portuguese president and antiquities minister also viewed the royal mummies' hall and the Golden King collection at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. El-Enany gifted de Sousa with a replica of King Khufu’s boat crafted by the replicas unit at the ministry.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

News, Giza: King Meneptah Column Arrives at Grand Egyptian Museum

King Meneptah was the fourth king of the 19th Dynasty and the son of King Ramses II. Written By/ Nevine El-Aref.

The Column of King Meneptah arrived Saturday at its permanent display area in the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza.

King Meneptah was the fourth king of the 19th Dynasty and the son of King Ramses II. He ruled for 10 years, from 1213-1203 BC.

Tarek Tawfik, supervisor general of the Grand Egyptian Museum, told Ahram Online that the pillar was discovered in 1970 inside Meneptah Temple in Matariya archaeological site, east of Arab Al-Hesn area.

It is carved in red granite with a limestone base. It is decorated with engravings of the king’s different titles, cartouche and scenes depicting his victory in wars against Libyan tribes.

The pillar is 17 tons in weight and 5.6 metres tall. It was first transported in 2008 to the Salaheddin Citadel for conservation and restoration as the residential area around it was suffering with high levels of subterranean water.

The pillar was then kept in the Citadel for 10 years until it was chosen to be among the GEM exhibits. It is to be put on show in the atrium at the GEM's main entrance, neighbouring the colossus of his father, Ramses II.

Eissa Zidan, director general of First-Aid Restoration at the GEM, explained that great care was taken before transportation, the pillar restored after comprehensive study to detect and consolidate its weak points.

It took eight hours to prepare the pillar for transportation. A wooden base padded with of layers of foam was made, with the pillar tied with carefully tensioned rope to safeguard it during transportation. The Tourism and Antiquities Police accompanied the pillar on its journey.

Osama Abulkheir, director general of the Restoration Department at the GEM, said that upon its arrival the pillar would be examined and further restoration work completed.