About 100,000 artifacts are planned to be transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). After these artifacts are conserved at the GEM Conservation Center (GEM-CC), the staff of the GEM-CC will transport them to the GEM for display. In order to ensure that the museum collection is exhibited without making any damage, it is very important for the GEM-CC staff to safely transport each artifact. Furthermore, there might be occasions of that famous ancient Egyptian collection at the GEM is lent to other museums all over the world. This certainly requires safe transportation of artifacts to those museums outside Egypt and their return to the GEM.

In this point of view, safety handling of the ancient artifacts is one of the most important issues. The museum collection is its most important property, thus it is essential that the museum’s staff know how to handle the precious collection safely. Inappropriate handling and carrying of artifacts could put those who work with them in danger and damage those precious artifacts. In order to prevent those kinds of accidents, the JICA GEM-CC project has initiated the training courses of the packing and transportation of the artifacts since 2009. Furthermore, since 2012, we have also started the training course for the handling of the heavy objects, which is naturally very difficult and involves danger of the accidents causing injury or death.

Six experts were again invited from Nippon Express Co., one of Japan’s best and biggest transporting companies, who have the longest and the best experience in the packing and transportation of the National Treasures of Japan and other countries. Likewise, they provided the training courses on the “Packing and Transportation of Artifacts” and “Handling of the Heavy Objects” at the GEM-CC.

There had been done six training courses in this theme including one in Japan. Some of the GEM-CC staff-members have already obtained the sufficient skills and techniques through past training courses. This time, those staff-members participated and served the training course as the trainers.

In the previous training courses on “Packing and Transportation of Artifacts,” we used the replica objects rather than the original in order not to make damage the original artifacts. In this training course, the Egyptian and Japanese experts applied their techniques to original artifacts as a demonstration to the trainees. It could make the training more practical.

As for the pervious training course on the “Handling of the Heavy Objects, it had aimed for the trainees to acquire the skills and techniques of handling the heavy objects, such as hoisting up and down, carrying horizontally, slinging, rolling of the heavy stone objects. It had also focused on and taught the fundamental safety measures during the work.

In this third session on handling of heavy objects was prepared as an advance course for those, who had taken the first and second sessions. The gantry crane was used for practicing to sling the heavy objects in the high place and installing such objects for the exhibition of the Grand Egyptian Museum. In addition to that, the instructors trained the trainees for the first time how to build and dismantle the scaffolds for building the portable gantry crane.

At the closing ceremony, Egyptian instructors and all the GEM-CC trainees, who have attended those training courses expressed gratitude to instructors of Nippon Express Co. and JICA experts and requested the continuous technical support of JICA in the fields of the packing and transportation of the artifacts” and the handling of the heavy objects” at the GEM-CC.

Photo 1: Explanation for the Methods of Packing Given by Mr. Tokuda of Nihhon Express Co.

Photo 3: Practicing to Set Up Scaffolds at the Heavy Objects Laboratory
Photo 4: Training Scene Showing Slinging the Heavy Stone Objects by the Aid of the Gantry Crane