The loan is to help resume construction of the museum and negotiations are underway to improve Japanese tourism to Egypt.
Rumours of the Grand Egyptian Museum wrapping up construction soon (and by soon, we mean six years ago) have recently resurfaced now that Japan will be providing Egypt with a $451 million loan to resume construction of the museum, according to the Egyptian cabinet’s announcement on their official website on Sunday.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met up with Japan’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Motome Takisawa that same day. They discussed increasing Japanese tourism to Egypt, implementing more educational programs between the two nations and bilateral cooperation before announcing the loan news.
Planning to house 100,000 artifacts, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is now set to open in 2018, although it was set to open in 2015, and has been largely funded by international loans. For years, Egyptians have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the GEM, however the massive project keeps being delayed and has previously been the focus of a financial scandal that hinted that $20 million dollars had been wasted by officials.
According to Egyptian Streets, previous Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Al-Damaty announced that Egypt had run out of monetary resources to continue building the museum as costs soared from $800 million to $1.1 billion.
The Grand Egyptian Museum will be run independently in order to for it to be free of bureaucratic restraints. Last year at a news conference near the museum’s 120-acre construction site, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh El-Damaty explained to reporters,“We have a plan for it to have independence and an international board of trustees like the Library of Alexandria."
In Sunday's meeting, the Japanese envoy also discussed Japan’s serious consideration for supporting Egyptian Ambassador Moushira Khattab’s mission to become UNESCO’s Director-General.
Main image courtesy of Ehafws.com