Moving antiquities from old to new museum

12-06-2016 09:53 PM

Sanaa’ Farouk

Amid strict security, 117 pieces of antiquity were moved from the Egyptian Museum at Tahrir Square in Cairo to the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, which is still under construction.
Tareq Tawfiq, Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), said that the move comes within the wider scope of moving artefacts from the old to the new museum. He said that once the pieces arrive at the GEM they are taken to the restoration laboratory where primary restoration works are done. They would then be ready for display among the other pieces of antiquity.
According to Eissa Zidan, Primary Restoration Manager at the GEM, the recently moved pieces date back to the 18th Dynasty (1543 – 1292BC). The pieces include a statue for King Hor Moheb, and a limestone panel with inscriptions of a lotus and the two goddesses Isis and Neftis shown sitting.
Last April, 430 pieces were moved to GEM. They included a collection from the mastaba tomb of the First Dynasty (3150 – 2890BC) at Saqqara, discovered by Walter Emery in 1938; among them were chisels, jugs, blades, dishes, coloured doors and a stone panel.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), planned to hold ancient Egyptian antiquities, has been described as the largest archaeologist museum in the world. Its foundation stone was laid by President Hosni Mubarak in 2002; it is currently under construction and is scheduled to be partially opened in 2018. The museum is being built on 120 acres of land some two kilometres from the Giza pyramids and is part of a new master plan for the plateau. On 25 August 2006 the Statue of Ramses II was moved from the central Cairo square in which it stood to the site of the GEM where it would occupy a centrepiece position with the museum building surrounding it. The Statue, estimated to be approximately 3,200 years old, was moved at midnight in the weekend in order to avoid disrupting the hectic Cairo traffic. Cairenes, however stayed up the night lining the path along which the Statue passed, honouring and cheering the Pharaoh.
In 2007, USD300 million loan was secured from Japan to build the GEM, Egypt’s government is funding it with USD147 million; the remaining USD150 million are funded through donations and international organisations.

WATANI International
12 June 2016



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