French foreign minister visits Grand Egyptian Museum site

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 30 Apr 2018

Jean-Yves Le Drian and his wife toured the construction site, conservation area, panorama and atrium on Sunday evening as part of the minister's official visit to Cairo


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian embarked on a tour of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) site on Sunday evening, accompanied by his wife and several Egyptian antiquities officials.

Le Drian made the tour of the site overlooking the Giza Plateau as part of his official visit to Cairo that started on Saturday night.

The French couple visited the GEM's panorama area, as well as the conservation centre, and the atrium where the colossus of King Ramses II is on display along with the Meneptah column.

Tarek Tawfik, supervisor general of the GEM, said that Le Drian was impressed by the scale of the buildings, as well as the gigantic colossus of King Ramses II.

The French minister said the museum would be one of the world’s most distinguished archaeological institutions, according to Tawfik.

The minister also toured the construction site, where work is ongoing ahead of the museum's partial opening, planned for later this year.

On Sunday, a fire broke out on scaffolding on the museum's rear façade. Firefighters extinguished the blaze with no causalities or damage to the building itself.

The conservation centre and other buildings, along with various artifiacts, including the Ramses II colossus and Meneptah column, were all unaffected.

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