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Abdel-Maqsoud sacked as head of GEM's supreme committee

Employees' protest forces dismissal of the head of GEM's Supreme Committee following investigation by Supreme Council of Antiquities

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 31 Oct 2011
Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud
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Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, head of the Supreme Committee of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), has been removed from his post following protests by employees.

Protests had accelerated over the last two days after the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) had refused to meet the protesters’ demands of a bonus every three months, a 15 per cent rise in incentives, and the resignation of Abdel-Maqsoud.

GEM employees sent a petition to Mustafa Amin, the SCA secretary general, asking for a reshuffle of the committee as its members were disrupting the GEM project and were remnants of the old regime. Amin said he would look into the matter.

In the petition, they also wrote, “All workers are exposed to deliberate persecution by the management through the withholding of bonuses and incentives, while committee members are paid almost one million pounds per month.”

Following two days of investigations by an SCA committee, Amin decided to discharge Abdel-Maqsoud.

Amin told Ahram Online the decision did not mean Abdel-Maqsoud was unqualified or incompetent, and “the SCA will get use of his distinguished archaeological experience and professional administrative skills in another post.

“The resignation came only because it was too difficult for Abdel-Maqsoud to continue as the workers don’t want him,” Amin asserted.

He said the whole GEM project would be under his supervision until a permanent successor of Abdel Maqsoud would be appointed.

Abdel-Maqsoud was tasked with investigating claims that the GEM was “the most corrupt project in Egypt where consultants and advisor earn millions of pounds per month and provide nothing.”

Abdel-Maqsoud told Ahram Online that neither his dismissal nor the dismissal of highly paid advisors would solve the problems at the project. The SCA secretary general must investigate claims of corruption thoroughly, he said.

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