CAIRO: In an inspection visit to the Suez Canal expansion project site, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty reviewed maps of the project to highlight archaeological development projects scheduled to be implemented in the region.
Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Amin, and Ismailia governor Ahmed el-Qasas along with several other officials accompanied Damaty on his tour.
“Along the 72-kilometer expansion project there will be a museum displaying archaeological artifacts and illustrations and maps that reveal the history of the Suez Canal since it was inaugurated in 1869,” said Damaty, adding that the site of the museum has been selected.
During the tour, Damaty listened to a detailed explanation of the different phases of the Suez Canal development project, and discussed ways to turn it into a tourist attraction for travelers on cruise ships sailing through the canal.
He added that he had formed a committee of archaeologists tasked with creating new mechanisms to foster archaeological development projects on both the eastern and western banks of the canal.
“I reassure you, the construction and digging processes associated with the Suez Canal expansion project will not harm archaeological sites in the area,” said Damaty, adding that the digging of the new project is “far away” from any archaeological sites.
Damaty also said that archaeological development projects will not be limited to the construction of new tourist attractions, but will also include reviving and restoring old tourist spots, including the Suez National Museum and Fort Tharo.
The new branch of the canal will be 72-kilometers long, 35 kilometers of which will be part of a new canal parallel to the current one, and the remaining 37 kilometers will be part of widening and deepening the existing canal. According to Suez Canal Authority head Mohab Memish, the project once finished will double Egypt’s revenue from the canal to $12 billion a year.