After taking the oath of office in front of President Mohamed Morsi, Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim, who is retaining his seat from former prime minister Ganzouri’s cabinet, told Ahram Online that he will continue his efforts to preserve Egypt’s archaeological heritage, as well as opening up more sites to increase tourism.
“A new strategy will be drawn up, to find other monetary resources besides the usual ones, in order to increase the ministry’s income, which are currently dependent on tourism levels,” Ibrahim said.
The strategy will aim to increase the ministry’s resources, so that it will be on target to complete ongoing construction and restoration works at the scheduled time. These projects include the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking Giza Plateau, which is due to be completed in 2015, and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat in Old Cairo, due for completion in 2013.
Ibrahim also promised to cooperate with all the concerned ministries such as the ministries of tourism, foreign affairs, international cooperation, religious endowments and culture in an attempt to support tourism and promote Egypt’s cultural and archaeological heritage around the world.
The minister told Ahram Online that he also plans to promote the establishment of archaeological exhibitions abroad, to generate more money for the ministry.
Ibrahim asserted that he will continue to work on returning Egypt’s stolen and illegally smuggled antiquities, as well as to tighten security at all archaeological sites, monuments and museums.
He will also continue the process of adjusting the status of the ministry’s temporary contract staff to give them permanent positions, according to the schedule previously created.
New channels are to be opened to cooperate more with foreign archaeological institutes and centres, in order to provide scholarships to curators, archaeologists and restorers.