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Senior US officials take tour of Grand Egyptian Museum, marking first official US visit to the site

The new museum is due to open later this year, providing a modern and spacious venue for the display of Egypt's antiquities

Reham El-Adawi , Sunday 11 Feb 2018
(Photos: Ayman Barayez)

Two senior US diplomats visited the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) amid tight security on Saturday, marking the first official US visit to the GEM site since construction began.

Ambassador David M. Satterfield, who is the acting assistant secretary for Near East affairs, toured the site along with Thomas H. Goldberger, chargé d'affaires to the US mission in Egypt.

They were led on the tour by Tarek Tawfik, the GEM's general supervisor, who explained the areas dedicated to King Tutankhamun, the most famous of pharaohs, who ruled Egypt thousands years ago.

Satterfield and Goldberger explored the lobby and nearby areas, stopping to have their photographs taken with the statue of King Ramses II.

The event was attended by US media outlets and cultural advisors at the US embassy, as well as Col. Waled Al-Sharkawi, director of the Tourism and Antiquities Police Department of Giza and Al-Haram, where the GEM is located.

Mohamed Atef, director of the project to transfer the statue of King Ramses II, was also present on the day.

The GEM, which is due to open later this year, is intended to provide a modern and spacious venue for the display of Egypt's antiquities, many of which are currently stored at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.

In November, Tawfik said the world is awaiting the opening of the GEM, which will display the complete collection of King Tutankhamun's treasures for the first time since his tomb was discovered in 1922.

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