New Egyptian museum to cost LE5 billion, says antiquities minister

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Ali has announced the start of the final phase of construction at the Grand Egyptian Museum, scheduled for inauguration in 2015. The new museum is being built on the Cairo-Alexandria Road, overlooking the Giza Pyramids

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Ali said that representatives from Besix Group, the Belgian company that won the bid for the project, recently attended a ceremony for the start of the final phase, along with a number of  foreign ambassadors.

Ali said that the overall cost of the project will be LE5 billion, adding that the Japanese government had provided a large part of the funding as a soft loan to be repaid within ten years of inauguration.

The minister said the present phase of construction is scheduled to last 40 months, ending in August 2015. The opening was previously scheduled for March of the same year.

He revealed that the project currently provides 5,000 job opportunities, with another 15,000 work opportunities expected once it is open. The new museum will secure a substantial income for Egypt, according to Ibrahim.

Orascom Construction and Industries (OCI) and Besix will sign contracts with the Ministry of Culture for the next phase of construction on Tuesday.

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