Saturday, July 02, 2005

What will happen to revenues from Tutankhamun?
A fascinating article from the Cairo Magazine about how much money is being generated by the Tutankhamun touring exhibtion, and what might happen to the money when the tour is completed. "Egypt, then, stands to gain about $9 million per US city (a total of $36 million), and as soon as the tour finishes in the States it is due to hit Europe, with stops in London and Paris, then continue on to Japan. So what will happen to the cash? This depends on which press statement you read. A number of factions have already made claims on the cash, but what features predominantly in the news is the assertion that the tour will help conserve Egypt’s heritage. No specifics are given, of course, but it seems more like wishful thinking from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) than an actual promise of support by the government. In fact, in the last few days the Tut money has also been claimed by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) project, a highly ambitious plan to build the world’s largest museum by the pyramids at Giza. However, a cautionary tale is in order here. In Egypt, as in most countries, the treasury controls the purse strings and government departments are allocated grants on a yearly basis, often according to political decisions rather than need. The SCA is not even a ministry, so it is highly unlikely that it will get its hands on the kind of money Tut is generating". See the article for more details.

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