Featured image via CNN
Egypt is home to a vast amount of stunning artefacts, to the extent that having one central Egyptian Museum is not enough. We’ve all been hearing a lot about the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) lately, and we’re here to tell you the full story behind it.
Located in close proximity to the Pyramids of Giza, GEM aims to be the focal point of a mini-tourism city for Egypt. This area will mainly comprise of GEM, the Pyramids of Giza & the Sphinx, as well as Egypt’s newest airport, Sphinx International Airport. Theoretically, tourists can land at the airport, visit the Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, and then hit the museum before flying home again.
The Grand Egyptian Museum project is supervised by Tarek Tawfik, who announced that it will hold 50 thousand artefacts on permanent display, and another 50 thousand artefacts in its storage area. Those stored artefacts will be used for research purposes, and seasonal displays according to varying schedules. That’s 100,000 artefacts just in this one museum, impressive, isn’t it?
While there has been a lot of progress in constructing the Giza Museum, as it’s otherwise known, the public will have to wait until 2020. That being said, the original launch date was actually 2022, but it has recently been brought forward to the aforementioned earlier date. GEM is a 117-acre site, but the building itself will be set on 165 thousand square metres. Upon opening, the first phase will include only 20,000 artefacts, with the star of the show being Tutankhamun, the famous Egyptian pharaoh; 1800 pieces of his personal belongings will be on display, out of a total of 5000.
GEM is a huge project, one that requires a lot of funding, one billion dollars to be exact. Half of this budget has already been spent, with the funding itself coming from soft loans from Japan. While GEM will receive the collection of Tutankhamun, all the other artefacts of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir will remain there.