Construction workers are labouring round the clock to complete the second phase of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) near the Giza pyramids in southwest Cairo, which includes the construction of a power station, a conservation and restoration centre for archaeological remains and a firefighting unit. Work on the main building, including the exhibition halls, an auditorium, a cinema, shops and restaurant facilities for visitors, is due to begin in 2008. If all goes to plan the new facility will be finished in 2010. Designed by Dublin-based architects Heneghan Peng, the museum is being built on a 50-hectare plot roughly three kilometres from the Giza pyramids and near the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. It is intended to complement the existing Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in central Cairo, which contains the most important collection of Egyptian art and antiquities in the world. Initially GEM is expected to attract around five million visitors a year, although this number is projected to rise to eight million by 2020.
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