Approximately 40 Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) employees have staged a sit-in outside their administrative headquarters at Al-Remaya Square, saying they would go on strike if the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) did not meet their demands: a bonus every three months and a 15 per cent raise in incentives; they also called for the return of Major General Sameh Khatab, who had directed the SCA’s financial section for five years when Mostafa Amin, the new secretary general of SCA, dimissed Khatab.
Amin’s response to the sit-in was that employees of GEM receive the highest salaries among SCA employees. He told Ahram Online that a committee led by Atef Abul Dahab, the head of the Ancient Egyptian Department, will meet with the protesters tomorrow, reporting their demands, which will be looked into them in the light of SCA regulations.
An archaeologist at SCA, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Ahram Online that Khatab, who wants to retrieve his post, is behind the protests, working from behind the scenes as he did during the tenure of Hawass and his predecessors Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud and Mohamed Abdel Fatah.
GEM, to be completed in 2015, is a megaproject intended to house 150,000 objects carefully selected from different museums and archaeological sites in Egypt.