Egypt announced on June 17 embarking on a three-year project to revamp the Egyptian Museum, west Cairo, financed by EUR 3.1 mn of EU funding and backed by a consortium of five European museums, promising to preserve and enhance the storied site, Invest-Gate reports.

The announcement includes signing a cooperation protocol between Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Ambassador of the European Union to Cairo Ivan Surkos, with the aim of submitting it to the UNESCO to put Tahrir Square’s Egyptian Museum on the World Heritage List, according to a recent ministerial statement, noting that the move comes under a EUR 15 mn comprehensive economic growth program.

The project, which will last for 36 months, is the first phase of a larger plan that comprises further major developments in the pipeline, with the alliance of the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, Louvre Museum in Paris, London’s British Museum, German-based Egyptian Museum in Berlin, National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Netherlands, who will assist the Cairo-based building in the adoption of significant new display areas and outlining detailed strategic vision – or a masterplan.

Participating museums will work alongside the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) and Central Institute of Antiquities to develop the strategic vision for the project within international standards. The initial restructuring of the Egyptian Museum will cover the redisplay of several galleries near the entrance and relocation Tanis Royal Tombs to the space vacated by Tutankhamun collection.

During the signing ceremony, Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled El Anani reiterated an earlier promise that the construction of new archaeological museums, such as the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and Museum of Egyptian Civilization, will not impact the 116-year-old monument and its important archaeological value, which houses more than 150,000 artifacts, emphasizing that it should get “all the support and attention it deserves.”

“The time has come to shed new light on the museum’s rich collection, upgrade its physical structure, and improve its research and programming activities to reach the highest international standards,” El Anani elucidated during the event held on-site, in the attendance of ambassadors of 40 countries from all continents of the world and several representatives of UNESCO. In the same time, he also stressed the presidential mandate to inaugurate GEM by 2020.