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Spare Change for New Museum

In a strange twist of events, the Ministry of Antiquities is teaming up with the Ministry of Tourism to ask people to donate a pound or two to help complete the ongoing construction of the new Grand Egyptian Museum.

Minister of Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim, announced during a press conference that Egypt will be launching a fundraising campaign to aid in the construction of the forthcoming Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is set to be completed in 2015. Basically, the campaign, which is a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, the Chamber of Tourism Establishments and the Ministry of Antiquities, will see our nation begging for money from tourists (way to make us look good internationally guys!).

According to the initiative, the Ministry of Antiquities is to collect a $1 fee on every night a tourist spends in any hotel in our fair land. It is however, an optional fee, according to Ibrahim, wherein it will only be paid if the tourist agrees to help in the construction of the GEM. Wennaby geneih, wennaby! In tandem with this, archaeologist Bassam El-Shamaa also launched a local fundraising campaign asking Egyptians to pay 2 LE each to support the construction of the museum. With the Ministry of Antiquities, they'll be devising a safe and regulated method to collect the money legally. So fret not, this is not a government method of raising money so our top governmental bobs can buy their summer houses in France. In fact, as a return on your two geneih investment in our nation's newest museum, you'll be given a ticket for free entry to the GEM for 10 days. Score! With an 80-million strong population, if we all pitch in, we could raise a pretty penny.

The museum, which is located at the Giza plateau near the Pyramids, will feature not only a main exhibition space but also a network of streets, piazzas, and bridges that will link the museum's various sections. Pretty ambitious. Maybe we work on getting our regular roads and bridges functioning properly first, eh?

Less than 24 hours after this fundraising initiative was announced, contributions from Egyptian donors had reached a whopping 52 LE million, thanks largely to El-Ahly Bank, Banque Misr, and the Sawiris family. In case you’re curious, 65% of the museum is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (which is kind of odd, and also a little embarrassing for us), another $27 million was donated by businessmen, and the Ministry of Culture provided $150 million.


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