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Construction under way on main hall of massive new Egyptian museum, expected to open by 2015

  • Mideast Egypt Museum-1.jpg

    Egyptian conservators clean a female mummy dated to the Pharaonic late period, (712-323 BC), in the conservation center of Egypt's Grand museum under construction, just outside of Cairo, Egypt, Monday, March 17, 2014. Egypt’s antiquities minister says construction has begun on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the final phase of a complex that’s intended to house 100,000 ancient artifacts including King Tutankhamun's mummy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)The Associated Press

  • Mideast Egypt Museum-2.jpg

    An Egyptian engineer gestures to his colleagues at the construction site of Egypt's Grand museum, just outside of Cairo, Monday, March 17, 2014. Egypt’s antiquities minister says construction has begun on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the final phase of a complex that’s intended to house 100,000 ancient artifacts including King Tutankhamun's mummy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)The Associated Press

  • Mideast Egypt Museum-3.jpg

    An Egyptian construction worker works at the construction site of Egypt's Grand museum, just outside of Cairo, Monday, March 17, 2014. Egypt’s antiquities minister says construction has begun on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the final phase of a complex that’s intended to house 100,000 ancient artifacts including King Tutankhamun's mummy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)The Associated Press

  • Mideast Egypt Museum-4.jpg

    Egyptian workers walk at the construction site of Egypt's Grand museum, just outside of Cairo, Monday, March 17, 2014. Egypt’s antiquities minister says construction has begun on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the final phase of a complex that’s intended to house 100,000 ancient artifacts including King Tutankhamun's mummy. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)The Associated Press

Egypt's antiquities minister says construction is under way on the main hall of a massive new museum by the Pyramids, the final phase of a complex that's intended to house 100,000 ancient artifacts including King Tutankhamun's mummy.

Minister Mohammed Ibrahim and the country's international cooperation minister toured the 120-acre site Monday. Authorities are seeking to revive Egypt's battered tourism industry after three years of turmoil.

The museum, first conceived in 2002, was supposed to open in 2012. But Hideki Matsunaga, the chief representative of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency that is partially bankrolling the project, said the opening is now expected by the fall of 2015 and may face some delay.

Matsunaga said the agency is providing approximately $350 million in soft loans to finance the $800 million project.