Egypt and Japan discuss ongoing museum megaproject

Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany looks at exhibits on display during the opening of "Tutankhamun's Unseen Treasures" exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt November 15, 2017.(REUTERS)
Updated 09 September 2019

Egypt and Japan discuss ongoing museum megaproject

  • More than 48,000 artifacts have been moved to the museum. Japan is taking part in restoring monuments, and is providing state-of-the-art technology in the museum’s displays

CAIRO: Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anany met Japanese Ambassador Masaki Noke in Cairo to discuss ongoing preparations to inaugurate the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Its construction, which began in 2006, is almost complete, and it is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2020.
The meeting included Noke’s accompanying delegation from his country’s embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
They discussed the possibility of the Japanese providing technical assistance to operate the museum after its inauguration, as part of a partnership that involved two loans worth a total of $740 million. If the current negotiations succeed, the loans from Japan to Egypt would total $1.5 billion.
The museum, a national megaproject, was due to be inaugurated in 2015, but nationwide protests and a drop in tourism caused delays. As a result, Egypt was forced to borrow from Japan to complete construction.

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48,000 - artifacts have been moved to the museum, due to be inaugurated in 2015, but nationwide protests and a drop in tourism caused delays.

More than 48,000 artifacts have been moved to the museum. Japan is taking part in restoring monuments, and is providing state-of-the-art technology in the museum’s displays.
Archaeologist Ahmed Nabih said Japanese efforts in establishing the museum “accelerated the process of its construction.”
Nabih, who visited the museum, said it is a “great place” that will attract tourists from all over the world.
But economic affairs journalist Amira Gad said the new loans might further burden the state and increase its foreign debt, which has exceeded $1 trillion.
Still, Gad expressed confidence that the museum’s revenue will cover its costs and perhaps even make it profitable.


Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

Updated 21 min 35 sec ago

Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

BENGHAZI: Forces loyal to Libyan eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday they had killed 16 Turkish soldiers in recent weeks, a day after Turkey acknowledged it had lost several "martyrs" in combat in the north African country.
Khalid al-Mahjoub, a spokesman for Haftar's Libya National Army (LNA), said the Turks were killed in the port city of Misrata, in battles in Tripoli and in the town of al-Falah south of the capital.
Turkey backs Libya's weak internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has sent Syrian soldiers along with some of its own soldiers and weapons.
Haftar's forces are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday acknowleged some Turkish losses in Libya's "struggle".
"We are there (in Libya) with our (Turkish) soldiers and our teams from the Syrian National Army. We continue the struggle there. We have several martyrs. In return, however, we neutralized nearly a hundred (of Haftar's) legionaries," Erdogan said.
The Syrian National Army, also known as Free Syrian Army, is a Turkey-backed Syrian rebel group fighting against pro-Damascus forces in northern Syria, where 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed so far this month.
The deployment of Turkish soldiers and sophisticated air defences has erased small gains made by the LNA with the help of Russian mercenaries, returning the frontline roughly to where it was at start of Haftar's campaign in April 2019.
Ceasefire talks between Libya's warring sides resumed on Thursday after the GNA had pulled out of negotiations following the shelling of Tripoli's port by Haftar's forces.