CAIRO: Negotiations are underway between the contractors of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Mohamed Ghonim, one of the top executives heading the project, expects that “the contracting will finish at the end of this month after which, tendering for its management contract will begin.
The entire project is being overseen by the Ministry of Culture, while the Supreme Council of Antiquities plays a fundamental role in managing the cultural and archaeological aspects of the project.
A government investment plan, fundraising campaigns and foreign state grants all contribute to the financing of this project, as well as assistance from international organizations and agencies amongst other sources and individual donations.
The museum, which will be located 2.5 km away from the Giza Pyramids, is projected to be completed by 2013.
Upon completion, the venture, which is estimated to cost $550 million (LE 3 billion), will employ 500 members of well-trained staff as well as an additional 1,500 employees from the service sector for security and maintenance.
Visitor numbers are estimated to start at 3 million in the first year and according to the Grand Egyptian Museum’s website, the number of artifacts that the museum will host will rise up to 100,000 during the first five to 10 years.
Once opened, the museum will boast a collection of artifacts some 3,500 pieces strong that once belonged to the young Tutankhamun. The museum will guide its visitors through the country’s history, starting from the first period of Ancient Egypt, running in chronological order throughout the pharonic times. It is also projected to be the largest museum of Egyptology in the world with a floor space of 100,000 meters square.
In 2003, a competition was held with the aim of finding a designer for the building. The final design of the Grand Egyptian Museum was created by the winners of this competition, a company called Heneghan Peng from Dublin, Ireland.
In addition to the main building, which will contain five cafés and restaurants, the Grand Egyptian Museum will host six different gardens and parks that will represent Egypt.
Latest reports estimate the construction of the museum to be completed in 2013.