Cranes Rise At The Site Of Egypt's Grand Museum, Near The Historical Site Of The Giza Pyramids Just Outside Of Cairo - AP
CAIRO - 4 May 2017: The highly anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum will kick off work on its final phase of construction now that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has approved a 49.4 billion JPY ($438 million) loan from Japan. The decision was published in the official gazette Thursday.
The loan, signed in Cairo Oct. 24, 2016, will be repaid over 25 years with 1.4 percent interest.
“Egypt will receive the loan as soon as it finishes some administrative procedures,” an official from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) told Egypt Today.
Dr. Tarek Tawfik, general supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum, told Egypt Today that all administrative procedures will be finished by the end of the month. He said work on the museum is ongoing and that the loan "has come at the perfect time" to ensure work continues seamlessly.
Tawfik added that all of the museum's main buildings have been completed. The Japanese loan will go to building the museum's facade, purchasing and installing security and surveillance equipment such as cameras and display systems for the interior of the musuem.
The new museum, situated on 120 acres of land, is located 2 km southwest of the Giza Pyramids and was scheduled to be inaugurated in August 2015. The inauguration is now not expected before 2018 due to funding issues, according to a statement by former Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty’s in state newspaper Al-Ahram.
Tawfik said construction is expected to be finished by the end of 2017, after which a date for the museum's inauguration will be set.
Construction of the museum began in 2003 but stopped after the 2011 uprising, and resumed in 2012.
During the past few years, thousands of artifacts from several museums and archaeological sites have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum ahead of its expected 2018 inauguration.