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Private view: Grand Egyptian Museum

Egypt's new wonder – and one of the world's largest archaeological museums – is finally set to open this year

Following months of anticipation, Egypt's new cultural wonder, the Grand Egyptian Museum, is set to throw open its doors in the last quarter of this year. A beacon of the future, perfectly preserving the nation's rich past, it will become the world's largest archaeological museum complex in the world as well as the world's largest museum dedicated to a single civilisation.

Often referred to as the "GEM of Giza", the museum's contemporary façade and sleek interiors are a testament to modern architectural innovation and serve as the perfect juxtaposition to the historic Pyramids of Giza in its backdrop.

Two decades in the making, the Grand Egyptian Museum was conceived to serve as the primary repository for Egypt's extensive collection of more than 100,000 ancient treasures. Some of these exhibits will be available for viewing for the very first time. The galleries have been curated to provide a comprehensive view of Egypt's history, from prehistoric times through the many thousands of years of pharaonic civilisation and the more modern Greek and Roman periods of the nation's story.

Among the fascinating display, King Tutankhamun's rare collection – on showcase for the first time ever – will undoubtedly be the museum's biggest highlight.

Quick facts about the Grand Egyptian Museum

  • The Grand Egyptian Museum was announced in January 2002. The following month, a ceremonial foundation stone was laid at the site selected for the new project, which was roughly two kilometres away from the Pyramids of Giza.

  • The original cost of the museum was estimated to be around US$500 million, however, delays, changes and other factors drove the final price tag to over US$1 billion.

  • One of the first artefacts to be transferred to the museum was an enormous 3,200-year-old statue of Ramesses II (pictured above). The statue had previously stood in the middle of a traffic circle in Cairo known as Ramesses Square. In 2018, it was transferred to the GEM’s main entrance, where it currently remains.

  • When everything is transferred from the current Egyptian Museum’s public display as well as its vast private storage areas, the Grand Egyptian Museum will host about 100,000 ancient artefacts, 4,549 of which will be from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

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