Fire breaks out at building site of new Egyptian museum


CAIRO: A fire broke out on Sunday at the building site of the new Egyptian museum — the future site of some of the country’s most unique and precious artifacts — but caused no significant damage or injuries, Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, which consumed wooden scaffolding at the construction site of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, located near the famed pyramids of Giza just outside Cairo, the ministry said in a statement.

It said there were no causalities or damage to artifacts in the museum.

Footage circulating on social media showed flames and plumes of thick black smoke rising over the entrance of the museum.
The museum covers about 490,000 square meters (586,120 square yards) and will house some of Egypt’s most unique and precious artifacts, including many belonging to the famed boy King Tutankhamun.

In January, Egypt placed the ancient statue of one of its most famous pharaohs, Ramses II, in the entrance hall of the museum.

Egypt hopes the inauguration of the new museum, along with a string of recent discoveries, will help spur a vital tourism industry that has been reeling from the political turmoil that engulfed Egypt following the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

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