The construction of the Great Museum in Cairo (Egypt), managed by Belgian company Besix, is well behind schedule because of financial difficulties. The Egyptian government is struggling to pay on time. The establishment aims to become the largest museum of Egyptian history in the world.
Besix, in a joint-venture with Egyptian firm Orascom Construction Industries, won the contract to build the project in 2012, a project aimed at surpassing the Louvre in Paris and London’s British Museum..
Building work was originally meant to have been completed in 2015, but the work site is facing important delays. Financing the project – currently estimated at 1.1 billion dollars – is an issue. Some investors are Japanese and are in dire straits because of the steep devaluation of the yen. But it is mostly the Egyptian government which is struggling to pay. An additional 400-million-dollar Japanese loan should breathe new life into the construction site. Besix is now hoping to finish the project by 2018.
Egypt is banking on the fututistic building, with its 50,000-square-metre inside surface are, attracting 5 to 8 million visitors each year. The new tourist attraction should replenish the coffers after Egyptian tourism suffered substantial losses due to the political instability in recent years.