Construction begins of Japan-backed Egyptian museum


Construction began Monday of the Grand Egyptian Museum in the suburbs of Giza, with completion scheduled for August 2015.

The museum, which will display about 100,000 items — including King Tutankhamen’s golden mask, will cost ¥63 billion to build, with Japan providing about ¥35 billion in loans.

Construction began with a cue from Egypt’s antiquities minister, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, during a groundbreaking ceremony at a site near Pharaoh Khufu’s pyramid.

“I hope that a nice museum will be built to help promote tourism and economic independence. We are glad to cooperate,” Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Norihiro Okuda said after the ceremony.

The museum, with 133,000 sq. meters of floor space, will accept items from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo and elsewhere.