Japanese project safeguards Egypt's ancient treasures

Japanese project safeguards Egypt's ancient treasures
By Euronews
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Global Japan visits the soon to be completed Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo to see first hand how Japanese experts are helping to preserve Egypt's priceless artifacts.


Once completed the Grand Egyptian Museum near Cairo is set to open in 2020. The new building will house Egypt's most priceless treasures, including the entire Tutankhamun collection.

Serge Rombi, Euronews

"This is a unique place with around 100,000 artifacts, over 50,000 square metres. Here you can admire for the very first time, in its entirety, the fabulous Tutankhamun treasure trove discovered in 1922. Tutankhamun, the pharaoh who reigned over the kingdom of Egypt during its golden age more than 3000 years ago."

Japan is not only one of the museum's major financial partners, it is also playing a key role in the preservation and restoration of Egypt’s antiquities, many of which are in the process of being transported from the old museum which is located in the centre of Cairo.

During the filming of this episode Global Japan we watched on as a box containing a 4000 year-old mural painting was transferred to the new museum's Conservation Center. It was one of 72 ancient artifacts that are part of a project run by JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It was vital the priceless painting was not damaged and Japanese transport specialists were on hand to oversee the delicate operation, which was completed successfully.

In addition to safely transferring Egypt's antiquities, Japanese experts have also been training their Egyptian colleagues with vital skills and tools to preserve and restore Egypt's treasures. This was initially done by using replicas but since 2016 teams have been using genuine artifacts.

In the Museum's specialist wood laboratory, Japanese 3D scanners have also proved vital in identifying the types of wood used for the different pieces.

JICA’s representative in Cairo insists the project has been a great success, both in terms of preserving Egypt’s heritage but also with regard to the huge economic benefits that the museum is expected to bring.

Kei Sakamoto - Representative, JICA Egypt Office

“It is building a lot of trust among the Egyptian and the Japanese experts, and once the Grand Egyptian Museum is established, it will be a driving force to attract more tourist to Egypt.”

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