Cash-strapped “national museum” nears completion, minister claims

Officials are pushing to open the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo, according to Minister for Monument Affairs Mohamed Ibrahim, in an attempt to partially open the new museum to tourists.

However, the government appears to be struggling to complete the project.

The minister said the site's theatre, cafeteria, mall and car parking area have all been completed. Ibrahim suggested opening the completed areas to bring in profits to complete the third stage of the project.

Ibrahim also said he had called on Egyptian investors and institutions to contribute to the project, so that the museum can be completed. All contributors will be honored on a commemorative panel.

Ibrahim added that the site, designed to become Egypt's first "national museum," would include 1,000 ancient artefacts that narrate the history of Egyptian civilization through the Pharaonic era, running through the Greek, Roman, Coptic, Islamic and modern times too.

The NMEC was first scheduled to open in September 2011 but has witnessed a serious of setbacks.

Egypt's tourism industry has been on decline since the January 2011 revolution which ousted former dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm