On 12th March 2012, a lavish ceremony was held at the site of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) for the beginning of the construction of the Museum. At the crescendo of the ceremony, Minister of State for Antiquities gave a command “Start the work!” in front of the invitees to the ceremony and the bulldozers began the work.

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim (Minister of the State for Antiquities: MSA), Dr. Mustafa Amin (Head of Supreme Council of Antiquities: SCA), Dr. El-Husseine Abdelbassir (General Supervisor of GEM), Mr. Francesco Bandarin (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture), Mr. Norihiro Okuda (Ambassador of Japan in Egypt), Mr. Nobuhiro Ikuro (Chief Representative of JICA Egypt Office) and the representatives of Besix Group and Orascom Construction Industries which signed the contract with the Ministry of State for Antiquities  attended the ceremony.

Many news agency of Egypt and Japan have gathered to capture this historic moment.In the dawn of completion, GEM will emerge as one of the world largest museum with 81,000 square meters of the total floor area and 38,000 square meters of the exhibition area and this is the first large-scale project after the January 25 revolution in 2011 started in Egypt,

Dr. Ibrahim made a speech emphasizing that GEM will be the world’s most important and greatest museum of the ancient Egyptian cultural heritage and GEM is a symbol of the cooperation and friendship between Egypt and Japan.

The museum construction is expected to be completed in August 2015.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the GEM construction
The Minister sent a signal to start the construction with (from right) Dr. Bassir, GEM; Minister Ibrahim, MSA; Ambassador Okuda; Mr. Bandarin, UNESCO; Dr. Amin, SCA
Groundbreaking of the construction by the bulldozers
Happy shaking-hands after the construction begin