The construction of Grand Egyptian Museum has delayed over time since the conclusion of its design due to the challenge of fundraising for the $795 million for the project.
Now, a state prosecutor in Egypt has ordered an investigation into the possible embezzlement of foreign funds loaned for the museum’s construction.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loaned $400 million to the Egyptian government for the project in 2006, with a favorable 1.5 percent interest rate and a grace period of 10 years, and the investigation follows media reports concerning the alleged embezzlement of some $20 million in funding earmarked for the project.
Construction on the Giza-sited, Henaghan Peng–designed institution began in March 2012, with an initial completion date of August 2015. The opening has since been pushed back to beyond 2018.
This is the second major allegation of impropriety to involve the construction of Egypt’s museum. In March, the director of the country’s museums authority was arrested on bribery charges connected with restoration work on the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, which was damaged in January 2014 by a suicide bomb attack against a police station nearby.
Egypt’s administrative prosecution ordered an investigation into alleged embezzlement of funds allocated to construct the Grand Egyptian Museum early this year.