BY DEBASHREE CHAKRABORTY
CAIRO, 28 JANUARY 2023
Spread over an area of 117 acres, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Remaya Square area, tipped to become the world’s largest archaeological museum in Giza, is the future of preserving Egypt’s glorious past heritage for posterity for the next hundreds of years to come.
No wonder then that this upcoming architectural marvel is estimated to attract five million additional tourists annually once it is opened for international tourists.
Tourists from all around the globe flocks to Egypt for the greatest monuments and the only remaining wonder of the ancient world – the Pyramids of Giza. The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt are the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to survive into the modern era. Everything else has vanished or crumbled or been destroyed by man or nature,
It will house artifacts of ancient Egypt, including the complete Tutankhamun collection, and is set to be the largest archaeological museum in the world. Many pieces in its collection will be displayed for the first time.
The museum is set up on a plot of land of about 480,000 square metres and approximately 2 kilometres away from the Giza pyramid complex and was built as part of a new master plan for the Giza Plateau called Giza 2030.
The museum is built by a joint venture company of the Belgian BESIX Group and the Egyptian Orascom Construction company.
The building is shaped like a chamfered triangle. The building’s north and south walls line up directly with the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure. The front of the museum includes a large plaza filled with date palms and a façade made of translucent alabaster stone. Inside the main entrance is a large atrium, where large statues will be exhibited. The Grand Egyptian Museum will include a children’s museum, conference center, training center, and workshops designed similarly to the old Pharaonic places.
The foundation stone of the museum was laid by the then President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak on 5 January 2002. Due to various reasons, the deadlines of inauguration og GEM have been missed in the past but this year it is all set open and already the prices of the tickets are also announced.
The exhibition will cover about one-third of the total museum grounds displaying c.18,000 artifacts (c.5000 objects in the Tutankhamun galleries, and c.13,000 objects in the other galleries) from the museum’s total collections of c.50,000 objects. The main attraction will be the first exhibition of the full tomb collection of King Tutankhamun. The collection includes about 5,000 items in total and will be relocated from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Other objects will be relocated from storages and museums in Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Assiut, Beni Suef, Fayoum, the Delta, and Alexandria.
The opening ceremony will be legendary and world leaders will be invited, GEM will be environment friendly and one of its kind in the earth.
Ticket prices for the GEM are :
For Egyptians- LE60.
For Egyptian students- LE30.
For foreign tourists- LE200.
For foreign students- LE100.
In January 2018, Besix and Orascom brought in and installed a jaw dropping spectacle of a 82-ton, 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses II in the Grand Egyptian Museum. It was the first artefact to be installed in the Museum, during construction due to its gigantic size. In May 2018, the last of King Tutankhamun’s chariots was moved to GEM.