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Monday, October 3, 2005

Queen Rania lays cornerstone for National Museum

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah laid the cornerstone for the National Museum at the heart of Amman in Ras El Ein on Sunday, celebrating the Kingdom's rich and diverse history and culture and the country's commitment to showcase and preserve local treasures for future generations.

During the ceremony, the Minister of Public Works and Housing, the Mayor of Amman, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism highlighted the Museum as a national landmark and a vital resource to preserve and promote Jordan's cultural heritage and identity. Participants further commended the Japanese Government's support to the project as well as other initiatives in the tourism sector.

On his part, His Excellency the Japanese Ambassador to Jordan highlighted the strength of bilateral relations between Japan and Jordan, and the role the Museum will play in promoting Jordan's rich and diverse history to both local and international audiences.

The cornerstone laying ceremony was attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Sumayya Bint El-Hassan as vice-chairman of the National Museum Board of Trustees, other members of the Board, the Japanese Ambassador to Jordan, representatives from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project's Japanese consultants PCI, and representatives from the Japanese construction firm Jurgon Consultants Pte. Ltd/ Synergy Construction Pte. Ltd.

Construction works on the three-storey 10,000 square meter Museum began earlier this year with an eye on opening its doors to the public by mid 2007. Exhibits within the main exhibition halls will span the country's history from the Great Arab Revolt to the modern Jordan of today and will take visitors through an exciting journey of the many historical civilizations which inhabited the land of Jordan.

Following the ceremony, Queen Rania chaired the National Museum's second Board of Trustees meeting at the King Hussein Cultural Center.

Her Majesty stressed that the meeting marks a new phase in the project's development and requires expanding synergies between the private and public sector as well as the local community, in addition to creating new partnerships with specialized and expert institutions both locally and internationally.

The meeting included several presentations on the Museum's positioning within the Tourism Sector Development Project, the project budget, plans to expand the Museum to include a children's interactive area, as well as a presentation on the Museum exhibit content.