The attractions of Cairo are many. Cairo is considered a top destination for visitors to Egypt. The main pharaonic destinations in Cairo are the Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum. The current Egyptian Museum is small and houses many depository monuments. The current museum, which was built in 1902, had almost 120 thousand pharaonic monuments and lacks the capacity for more ancient artifacts and monuments.
That is why Egypt needed another more modern and larger museum to display the treasures and monuments. In 1992 they began laying plans to build The Grand Egyptian Museum. So they started building a new museum to display 150,000 of the Egyptian monuments.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is close to the Pyramids of Giza almost 2 km and is 20 km from the center of Cairo. It is considered an architectural gem of the 20th century.
The History of The Grand Egyptian Museum
On January 5, 2002, former President Hosni Mubarak laid the cornerstone of The Grand Egyptian Museum. On August 25, 2006, the large statue of Ramses II was moved from Ramses Square in downtown Cairo to the Giza Complex. In 2010 this statue of Ramses II (statue from 3200 years old) was restored and put in the notice of The Grand Egyptian Museum.
In August 2008, the engineers submitted more than 5000 design drawings to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. In October 2008, he began announcing the tender for the work and later began excavating at the site of The Grand Egyptian Museum.
In September 2009, the completion date was announced (in 2013) but due to the 2011 Egyptian revolution it was delayed until 2020 but its inauguration date will be delayed until 2021 due to covid-19.
The Financing of The Grand Egyptian Museum
The construction of El GME costs 550 million dollars; $ 100 million from Egypt, $ 300 million from Japan, and $ 150 million from a fundraising company. The GME design competition was announced on January 7, 2002. Over 1,557 applications were received from 82 countries. Finally, the contract was made with Heneghan Peng (a Dublin company) and was valued at $ 250,000.
The Construction of The Grand Egyptian Museum
The Grand Egyptian Museum is designed with advanced technology. It is shaped like a beveled triangle plan, 800 m long and 40 m high. It is 50 m above the level of the Nile River. It occupies 50 hectares. It is between the three Pyramids of Giza and Cairo.
The walls and the façade are made of translucent stone. The northern and southern walls are aligned with the pyramids of Cheops and Menkaure. There is a large staircase to access the exhibition areas. There are 4 exhibition areas, each one dedicated to some eras;
-The first; where there are objects from prehistory, predynastic, an ancient kingdom, and first intermediate period.
-The second; where there are objects of the middle kingdom and second intermediate period.
-Third; where there are objects of the new kingdom.
-The fourth; where there are objects from the third intermediate period to the Greco-Roman period.
-Theater with a 3D screen with a capacity of 250 people.
-10 restaurants and three parks.
-A library; dedicated to Ancient Egypt.
-Three galleries; where there is a conference center and an educational center.
-Children’s museum that includes virtual galleries, activities, and workshops.
-A restoration and conservation center with specialized laboratories.
The Exhibitions at The Grand Egyptian Museum
There are more than 150 thousand monuments from different ancient times of Egypt. More than 20 thousand objects were never exhibited. There are also 45 thousand works of art and 87 statues from Ancient Egypt. The most important thing is the attractions of King Tutankhamun, almost 5 thousand objects that were found in his tomb.
Also, the Grand Statue of Ramses II, which is 3200 years old, measures 11 m high and 80 tons. There are the effigies of the gods Ptah, Sekhmet, and Hathor and the kings Amenophis III, Senusert III, and Queen Hatshepsut.
About the Grand Egyptian Museum
The Grand Egyptian Museum is not only a museum, but it is also a center for historical and archaeological studies. It is with a capacity of 15 thousand visitors daily. The current museum is in a unique place in the center of Cairo, surrounded by luxury hotels, churches, and mosques but also the new site of The Grand Egyptian Museum is close to the Pyramids of Giza which allows you to visit the complex of Giza and its attractions.
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If you want to explore the cradle of civilization »Egypt» up close, check out our Egypt travel packages. Also, see the Nile cruise deals and enjoy your time in the Pharaonic land.