CAIRO – 6 July 2021: The Egyptian-Japanese archaeological mission, headed by President of Japan's Higashi Nippon International University and Honorary Professor at Waseda University Sakuji Yoshimura, has completed the exhumation of all the artifacts of the Second Khufu Ship from the pit discovered next to the Pyramid of Khufu [Cheops] in the Giza pyramids area, thus ending the largest operation to discover and extract the Second Khufu Ship.
Director General of the Executive Affairs for Restoration at the Grand Egyptian Museum and supervisor of the restoration process of the second Khufu ship Issa Zidan explained that approximately 1,700 wooden pieces were extracted from 13 layers inside the pit, where the work of recording and documenting all pieces and the initial restoration of most of them had been completed, adding that, so far, 1,343 pieces have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Zidan further stated that preparations are underway to work on the second phase of the final restoration work and the necessary studies for assembling the ship to be displayed next to the First Khufu Solar Ship inside the new building designated for both ships, which is now being constructed at the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Moreover, Yoshifumi Omura, the main representative of JICA in Egypt, explained that JICA will provide a grant of $3 million to complete the final restoration works and reassemble the ship, in addition to the $2 million grant that was provided in 2013 fo the excavations and extraction of the wooden pieces of the ship.
The project of restoring and extracting the wooden pieces of the Second Khufu Solar Ship is one of the restoration projects that come within the framework of the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Japan, with the support of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Cooperation between the Egyptian and Japanese sides in the Grand Egyptian Museum project began in 2006, when JICA provided financial support through two soft loans for official development assistance in building the museum at the request of the Egyptian government.
Since 2008, JICA has provided cooperation and technical support through the Egyptian-Japanese joint project for the restoration, documentation, packaging and transportation of 72 artifacts, including artifacts belonging to the Golden King Tutankhamun, that were later transferred from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the Grand Egyptian Museum.
This is done through joint cooperation between Egyptian and Japanese experts. About 90 Japanese experts participated in this project. A number of high-tech devices was also provided, such as a digital microscope, a portable X-ray imaging device, and an electric forklift to safely carry heavy artifacts.
Ambassador of Japan to Cairo Noke Masaki expressed his appreciation of the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in the fields of tourism and culture, expressing his gratitude for the efforts of Egypt’s Minister of Tourism & Antiquities Khaled El-Enani, as well as the tireless efforts of General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum project and the surrounding area Atef Moftah, stressing that the Grand Egyptian Museum is a symbol of Egyptian-Japanese friendship.
For his part, Yoshifumi further expressed his appreciation of the strong leadership of the Egyptian government and the efforts made by the Egyptian state to achieve such great progress in the establishment of the Grand Egyptian Museum. He stressed his pride in JICA's participation in preserving the treasures of Egypt for future generations through the Grand Egyptian Museum project.