Set to open by the end of 2020, The Grand Egypt Museum (GEM) will be the world’s largest archeological museum dedicated to a single civilisation, displaying 50,000 artefacts and never-before-seen relics of King Tutankhamun. Here's what we know about the most anticipated museum opening of the year

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It's nothing like the old Egyptian Museum

Unlike the old Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which functions as a warehouse of treasures, the exhibition at the GEM follows a chronological order and incorporates the latest technology, including virtual reality. 

Shaped like the pyramids, the museum features a state-of-the-art folded roof structure with rectangular panels spreading across all parts of the roof and its underside, allowing plenty of natural light to shine through the entrance hall. Another main feature of the museum is the grand staircase, which ascends from valley level to plateau, and will be lined with 87 statues.

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It looks out at the Giza pyramids

Located outside central Cairo, the GEM unfolds one of the world’s greatest civilisations with a prime location facing the world-famous Giza pyramids, with the size and complexity of the project mirroring that of the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, which correspond to the kings for whom they were built. From the galleries on the plateau level, visitors can see the pyramids from inside the museum.

The new museum is conveniently located to allow easy access for both locals and tourists, as it’s placed with close proximity to the Cairo ring road that encircles the cities of Cairo and Giza for those travelling to and from Cairo. It is also expected to connect to the Cairo metro once the new line is completed. For those travelling by air, the new Sphinx International Airport, which is only 20 minutes away, will soon receive international flights alongside its current domestic routes connecting the Red Sea resorts and Giza.

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A full tomb collection of King Tutankhamun will be on display

For the first time, the tomb of King Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt’s most famous pharaoh, will be shown in its entirety. While about 1,500 items from the boy king’s tomb were displayed in the old museum, the GEM will exhibit 5,400 objects retrieved from his tomb (discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922) in the Tutankhamun gallery, including his three coffins and his treasures. 

Along with informative narratives that tell the story of King Tut’s lifestyle, the artefacts are displayed in the same order that Carter came across them in the tomb a century ago, taking visitors through an emotional journey of Egypt’s ancient world. 

 

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A massive restoration effort

94.5% of the restoration work is reportedly completed at the moment, thanks to an army of conservationists who painstakingly restored the relics—many of which are nearly 5,000 years old—from the 17 dedicated on-site labs. The restoration of King Tut's golden-plated coffin alone took nine months to complete.

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The ticket price

The GEM recently announced that the ticket price for foreigners will be 400 EGP, around HK$200, and half price for students. 

The museum is expected to attract five million visitors a year, surpassing the number of visitors to the UK’s Tate Modern and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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