The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza, scheduled to open in 2020, has recently received 309 pieces of ancient Egyptian antiquities, 64 of them heavy-wight, moved there from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
The move was made under strict security, and the antiquities moved were stored inside the GEM’s conservation centre once they arrived.
According to General Atef Muftah, general supervisor of the GEM and surrounding area, some of the transferred artefacts are to be displayed in the area of the GEM’s foyer and grand staircase, whereas the other pieces will be showcased in the various halls according to how far back they date.
The 3,200 year old statue of Ramses II, which once stood tall in Ramses Square, in downtown Cairo, up until 2006 before it was moved to the GEM, now occupies a centerpiece position with the museum building surrounding it.
Al-Tayeb Abbas, General Manager of Antiquities Affairs at the GEM, explained that the pieces moved include a granite sphinx of Ramses II (1303 – 1213BC) that weighs some 6 tons; Sekhmet; and Seti II; as well as a collection of wooden and metal pieces.
The artefacts, Mr Abbas noted, were moved under tight security, and were examined and renovated before they are put on display.
“Before their transfer, a thorough detailed report of the condition of every item was prepared; this is prerequisite to any renovation work. Each also underwent a mechanical cleaning process before being safely packed for the move,” said Eissa Zeidan, Head of the Restoration Department at the GEM.
He noted that transferring process done in cooperation with Arab contractors company, especially that six pieces weighed between 4 to 16 tons each.
The most recent collection of artefacts moved to GEM were transferred last August. http://en.wataninet.com/culture/antiquity_/large-size-artefacts-moved-to-grand-egyptian-museum/30476/
GEM is still under construction and is scheduled to open in 2020. Its foundation stone was laid by President Hosni Mubarak in 2002. Proclaimed as the largest archaeologist museum in the world, the museum is built on an area of 120 acres of land, about two kilometres from the Pyramids of Giza, and is a major landmark of the new master plan for the plateau.
In 2007, a USD300 million loan was secured from Japan to build the GEM. The Egyptian government is funding the project with USD147 million; as to the remaining USD150 million, they are funded through donations and international organisations.
10 December 2019