CAIRO - 30 October: The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) received 140 artifacts transferred from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.
The head of the archeological affairs in the Grand Egyptian Museum El-Tayeb Abbas said that the transferred artifacts belong to different eras, from the pre-dynastic period to the Greco-Roman era.
Among the most important transferred artifacts is a statue of King Khafra made of Alabaster and a statue of the priest Kay made of colored limestone, depicting the priest sitting on a seat with a half backrest, and beside his left foot is a small statue of his wife. Also, a sarcophagus of king Senusert I was transferred to GEM.
On September 30, GEM received 331 artifacts, including the 42 pieces belonging to King Tutankhamun that were on display at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. In addition, the Grand Egyptian Museum received 27 pieces of wood from King Khufu's second ship that was located at its restoration lab near the Pyramid.
Director General of Archaeological Affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum Abbas said that the artifacts of King Tutankhamun include a collection of sandals made of Halfa, weaving threads and papyri, and a wooden silo that was used to preserve grains and seeds, stressing that all of the king’s artifacts are kept in good condition.
Moreover, among King Tutankhamun’s belongings transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum are a set of food utensils and a quiver of arrows that was used by King Tutankhamun on his hunting trips. This is in addition to the statue of God Serapis, the official god of ancient Alexandria, who was worshiped in the Greco-Roman era and another statue of a naos containing the god Harpocrates and the child Horus.
Director General of the Executive Affairs for Restoration and Transportation of Antiquities at the Grand Egyptian Museum Essa Zeidan previously stated that the parts of Khufu’s second ship are large-scale pieces that were transported within the Egyptian-Japanese joint project for the extraction and restoration of the ship.
This brings the number of artifacts that have been transferred from the ship to the restoration center on the site so far to 892 wooden pieces. The team carried out three-dimensional documentation and registration as well as the necessary restoration work of all the pieces before the transfer.
Zeidan further clarified that archaeologists, restorers and security staff of the Grand Egyptian Museum are in a race with time to complete the transportation and restoration works before the official opening of the museum in 2020; the Grand Egyptian Museum’s team has so far succeeded in transporting more than 49,797 antiquities.
On Aug. 27, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly presided the first meeting of the Higher Committee, formed under the supervision of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to set scenarios of the opening ceremony of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani, Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem, Minister of Tourism Rania al-Mashat, Governor of Giza Ahmed Rashed, and officials of a number of concerned authorities.
Furthermore, the prime minister clarified that the government aims to develop the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, and Khedive Cairo, stressing that the political leadership attaches great importance to the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, as it presents a civilized image of Egypt to the entire world.
Minister of Antiquities Anany previously said that the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum will be the largest celebration organized by Egypt in the recent period, given the interest of the whole world in this event.
The opening is expected to be attended by President Sisi as well as kings, princes, presidents, heads of international organizations, and senior officials from all around the world.