Egypt is always a country of greatness and big things. When we built the Egyptian museum in 1902, we made it the largest in the region, and when we wanted to upgrade, we created the Grand Egyptian Museum, the largest archaeological museum in the world. The Grand Egyptian museum “GEM” is constructed on approximately 50,000 square meters, 2 km away from the Great Pyramids of Giza. The museum will have over 100,000 original pieces of antiquities, and over 20,000 of them are displayed for the first time. It will also include the latest technology, like virtual reality.
The museum is designed by Heneghan Peng; it was chosen from more than 500 thousand projects from 83 countries. The total cost of the museum is about 550 million dollars, according to the Egyptian ministry of culture. When you first enter the museum, you will find a massive statue, 83-tonne, for Rameses II, almost reaching the ceiling, lined beside him, 87 statues of ancient Egyptians Kings and Gods. The main galleries in the GEM will be divided into eras: Pre-dynastic, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom and Greco-Roman. They will also be organized into themes: Beliefs and Eternity, Kingship and power, Society.
The GEM is located 2 Km away from Giza, where the three majestic pyramids and the Sphinx Lays, and about 20 Km away from downtown Cairo, the capital of Egypt. It is built on 120 acres of land, taking the shape of a chamfered triangle.
There are some unique new things about this grand museum, like the tall glass windows that you’ll find inside, looking out toward the pyramid. The entrance and Façade of the Grand Egyptian museum are about 600 meters tall, which adds to the greatness of the museum. The 140-foot-long solar boat that was buried beside the Great Pyramid will be put into a new display.
A grand museum needs a grand staircase with equal greatness; the length of the staircase will be 64 meters and 24-meter raising; the width will start with 85 meters at the bottom and 17 meters at the top. The grand staircase will be like a storyline of the museum, portraying the Kings and Gods of the Ancient Egyptian Era by the 87 statues that will be displayed on it.
The GEM will act as an encyclopedia of the Ancient Egyptian culture; it will exhibit original antiquities, monuments, and high-quality artifacts, telling the latest scientific information about them. There will also be a variety of Audio/Visual representations to explain the information as well as the texts that are easy to read and follow.
The conference center aims to give the visitors cultural, intellectual, and educational experience while visiting the GEM. It includes halls, meeting rooms, and auditoriums, which will be used for both internal events and external. The main auditorium hall will have about 1000 seats; it will be used for conference presentations and also theatric performances.
It is made to have a dual purpose, as it gives lectures, seminars, workshops, and displays movies as well, to make the visitors reach a deeper level of understanding. And it also is dedicated to research, training, and in-house and outreach educational activities. It will open up the museum to non-museum goers, which is the second purpose of it.
There will also be a separate children’s museum that has state-of-the-art visual tricks to explain Egypt’s ancient world to kids and even a 250-seat 3D cinema. I guess that it won’t be attractive to the children alone. It will also include workshops, games, virtual galleries, and hands-on activities to allow them to create, share, and experience.
A unique program for the ones with physical challenges, it makes them focus more on their abilities, with activities such as putting pottery fragments together or read inscriptions with their sensitive fingers, it will enable them to explore their potentials.
The Grand Egyptian Museum includes more than one park, but the unquiet one is the Land of Egypt Park, as it has a theme that reflects the themes of the museum. It is conceived as a ‘secret’ garden; after a long climb from the Piazza, you’ll get to discover the garden. There is also the Nile Park, the Temple Garden, the Roof Garden, and the Dunal Park.
The most significant part about the new museum is that it will have the most extensive collection of Tout Ankh Amen relics’ that was ever displayed. Tut Ankh Amen, is the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who ruled during the New Kingdom, at the end of the 18th dynasty. The old museum got about 1500 items from the boy king’s tomb; however, the new one will have about 5400, including his three coffins and funeral mask. One large plated coffin was removed from his tomb in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings to be displayed at GEM. For the first time, the contents of his tomb will be shown entirely in the exact order that carter discovered them in. During the opening of the museum, Tut’s tomb will be displayed via hologram technology.
If you want to know more information about the Grand Egyptian museum, you’ll find an official website with all the information you need. They have announced the pricing of the tickets already; for the foreigners, it will be about LE 400, which is approximately 25 USD, and there is 50% for the students on the tickets. As for the Egyptians, it will be about LE 60, around less than 4 USD.
The whole world is waiting for the grand opening of this grand museum. The Egyptian government is getting ready and preparing a massive opening for it to get the attention of the entire world. It was planned to open in the last quarter of 2020, so you can say they are putting some final touches, but it was postponed until 2021 due to the Corona Pandemic. The Grand Egyptian museum is a must-visit while you have a tour in Egypt. The old museum will still be open but mainly for art, as most of the antiquities will be moved to the new one.