CAIRO: 200 artifacts of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s treasures were transferred Thursday to the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum in, Mohamed Mostafa, head of GEM, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The artifacts are being renovated and prepared for display in a separate hall dedicated to the young pharaoh, said Mostafa.
“The new section is seven times bigger than the pharaoh’s section in the Egyptian museum in Tahrir Square,” said Mostafa, who added that the new hall will operate with the most updated technology systems.
Other artifacts, including limestone sphinxes and granite pillars, have been transferred to the GEM, member of GEM’s transferring artifacts committee Basem Hamad told Al-Balad news website.
“Archaeologists and professors of antiquity renovation have been consulted before taking the decision to transfer Egypt’s treasures to the Grand Egyptian Museum,” said Hamad, who added that the artifacts will be transported through a convoy and secured by police forces.
On Aug. 25, 2006, after years of controversy and logistical headaches, a colossal pink granite statue of Ramses II was transferred in one piece from Cairo’s busy Ramses Square to the GEM.
The transfer was carried out during a high-risk overnight operation through Cairo’s streets on a 27-metre motorized convoy.
The technique used in lifting the statue is similar to the one used by ancient Egyptians in lifting the pyramid’s blocks, according to Zahi Hawass, former Minister of Antiquities.
The GEM is being built over an area of 117 acres and is considered the biggest-ever Pharaonic museum worldwide. Its foundation stone was laid in February 2002.
Under the supervision of UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA), an International Architectural Competition to design the GEM was launched in 2002. The design of an Irish architect firm named Heneghan Peng was chosen.
The cost of the project is estimated at $550 million and is being funded by Japanese JICA and a fund raising campaign. It is expected to be inaugurated in mid-August 2015.