$350M Egyptian Museum Planned

Tue October 15, 2002 - National Edition

Officials have announced plans to build a massive new museum in Egypt to house exhibits from the country’s 7,000-year civilization.

Egyptian officials are hoping to obtain long-term loans from the World Bank to fund the project, estimated to cost US$350 million.

Cairo’s existing Egyptian Museum, which turns 100 later this year, was originally designed to exhibit about 5,000 artifacts. With too little exhibition space, many of the museum’s pharaonic, Coptic, Greco-Roman and Islamic artifacts had to be stored in the basement.

The new complex, will be 32 times the size of the existing museum and house almost all the150,000 artifacts currently crammed into the old museum, including the treasures of King Tutankhamun.

It will be based near the Giza pyramids plateau and Egyptian officials say they hope the new museum will attract an additional three million visitors a year to the country, which has a $4.5-billion tourism industry.

Building the museum is expected to take about five years.