The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo had been a long time coming. While the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square which showcased the ancient treasures of Egypt had been around since 1902, it was outdated and couldn’t accommodate the number of artifacts they’d curated over the years and the vast amount of visitors wishing to explore the museum every day. In 2002 the Egyptian Ministry of Culture announced plans to construct a replacement, and it’s finally nearing completion. The wait will be worth it however, and the public will quickly see why it will be known as the largest archaeological museum complex in the world. Before visiting, here are a few things you should know.
- It’s unlike any museum you’ve ever visited before.
The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo spans 480,000 square meters, and houses over 100,000 artifacts from Egypt’s history. It’s the world’s largest museum committed entirely to one civilization, and incorporates the latest technology, including virtual reality.
- It overlooks the Pyramids of Giza.
Located outside central Cairo on the edge of the Western Desert, The Grand Egyptian Museum looks out at the famous pyramids. That gives you the ability to see the pyramids from inside the museum.
- Home of the largest King Tutankhamun collection in the world.
The museum has a 4000 square meter gallery fully dedicated to the boy king. Inside you will find the entire contents of his tomb, including his three coffins and funeral mask. That’s a total of 5,400 objects. This is the first time everything has been displayed all at once, in the exact same way they were found by Howard Carter and his team back in 1922.
- The Grand Staircase is a site to behold.
One of the most striking features of the museum is the Grand Staircase, which leads from the main level to the galleries. Overall it’s 64 meters in length and stretches 24 meters in height. As you climb it you will get to see the history of Egypt through a carefully arranged array of artifacts.
- It’s more than just a museum.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is also home to a theatre, 28 gift shops, a children’s museum, exhibition spaces, a conference centre, a training centre and several restaurants. It will truly be a tourist centre visitors to Egypt won’t want to miss.
- The design was chosen through a competition.
The Egyptian Ministry of Culture announced on January 7, 2002 that the final design of the museum would be determined by a competition. They received 1,557 entries from 82 countries, which made it the second largest architectural competition in history. After judging was completed in 2003, architects Róisín Heneghan and Shi-Fu Peng were announced as the winners, and their company Heneghan Peng Architects or Ireland won $250,000.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023, and you can include it in any of our Egypt itineraries, including Egypt and the Nile. Contact us today to find out more.