Technical committee co-ordinator Yasser Mansour says the final entries represent almost 70 per cent of the 2,227 architects and firms that registered for the project. ‘The quality and calibre of the submitted projects exhibit a high level of professionalism, creativity and seriousness,’ says Mansour. ‘It is quite impressive.’

He says the 20 selected entries will remain anonymous until the second phase of the competition is completed, during April 2003. At that stage the three winning designs will be announced.

The Grand Egyptian Museum will be built on a 480,000-square-metre elevated site, 2.5 kilometres north of the Giza Pyramids. Project costs are estimated at about $350 million. It is scheduled to open in 2006 (MEED Special Report, Construction, 5:7:02, page 21).

The new museum will house some 100,000 artefacts to be transferred from the existing National Museum in central Cairo. The existing museum, built in 1902, will remain open, but will display a much smaller selection of items than at present. Among the treasures to be moved to the new museum will be the 4,000 objects recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun.