Head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shinichi Kitaoka has paid a visit to the Giza Plateau, where he saw the Great Pyramid of Giza and the boat of King Khufu, which an Egyptian-Japanese team is working to remove and restore from its original pit.
JICA has provided Egypt with two loans to enable the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).
restoration work at King Khufu's second boat
Photos: Aymen Barayez
Kitaoka, who was accompanied by Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, also toured the GEM, where he saw the King Ramses II colossus. He also attended a meeting of the GEM's board of directors.
Kitako was also accompanied by Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Takehiro Kagawa and GEM Supervisor Tarek Tawfik.
Eissa Zidan, director of restoration work on the second boat, told Ahram Online that Kitaoka expressed his happiness with the fruitful cooperation between the JICA and the Ministry of Antiquities.
Kitaoka also asserted that JICA will continue its support until the completion of restoration work on the second boat before its display at the GEM. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Higashi Nippon International University.
Mamdouh Taha, the head of the restoration project, said that 787 of the boat's wooden beams have been lifted from the pit, while 1,264 are still inside.
Tawfik, Kitaoko and Kagawa,Zidan with the restorers of the boat in front of the Great Pyramid
Photo: Aymen Barayez