Saturday, March 06, 2010

Update on Grand Egyptian Museum (Peter Reina)

Six years after design began and one year after it was completed, Egypt’s Ministry of Culture is almost ready to start construction of the $550-million main building of the Grand Egyptian Museum, near Cairo.

Having secured a $390-million soft loan from Japan, the ministry last month appointed a team of Hill International Inc., Marlton, N.J., and EHAF Consulting Engineer, Cairo, to manage construction of the main building’s core, shell and fit out.

“We are hoping to get to the tender stage in the next 90-120 days,” and expect international contractors to bid, says Raouf S. Ghali, president of Hill’s Project Management Group (International). “The ministry is looking for the highest caliber,” he adds.

The project’s lengthy gestation is nothing compared to the antiquity of the ancient artifacts to be housed in the 500-hectare complex with 24-meter-high ceilings, partially buried in desert sand at the great pyramids of Giza. Already, the 12.5-m-tall statue of Rameses the Great, who ruled over 3,000 years ago, has been moved from Cairo for temporary storage near the museum site.

To prevent the sprawling complex from competing with the pyramids, two kilometer away, the 100,000-sq-m main building has been sited at the toe of an escarpment rising from the River Nile delta.

No comments: