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Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry Has Lost 90% of its Revenue

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry Has Lost 90% of its Revenue

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By Aswat Masriya

The Ministry of Antiquities lost 90 percent of its financial resources and is running a “huge deficit”, said Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damati at a press conference in Kafr El-Sheikh.

The lack of resources has stalled renovation projects and the building of new museums, he added.

Al-Damati said that the ministry’s budget fell from EGP 1.3 billion to EGP 125 million and that it relies entirely on self-financing through four projects for funding.

He explained that 7,000 employees were officially added to the payroll from 2011 to date, bringing the total number of employees to 39,000, whose salaries amount to EGP 72 million.

In September, revenues from museum and monument tickets recorded a remarkable decrease, bringing in a mere EGP 20 million, said Al-Damati.

The minister complained that tenants running ministry bazaars and gift shops have not been paying rent for four years, dealing yet another blow to the ministry’s revenue stream.

Al-Damati was in the province of Kafr El-Sheikh to attend the inauguration of theKafr El-Sheikh  antiquities museum built at a cost of EGP 20 million.

He said that the project was approved in 1992, but construction work began in 2000 and continued until 2010 before getting stalled for five years, adding that the museum will require another EGP 20 million to complete over the next 18 months.

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Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

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