Since the news broke that Egypt’s biggest and baddest archaeological museum museum ever – the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) – was in the works, many have been waiting in anticipation. Now, they’re in preparations to launch its opening in 2020. The previously adored Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square is famous for holding many treasures, but the new one is a $1 billion experience that takes guests on the same journey as Howard Carter’s when he discovered the Boy King’s tomb 100 years ago. The new location also offers views of the famous pyramids.
The new layout will have many levels, with its entrance at the Nile valley and its exit at the Giza plateau – a geographical timeline of Egyptian history. Its main galleries are divided into four eras: pre-dynastic (up to 3100 B.C.), Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, and Greco-Roman. Each gallery will be thematically organized as either Beliefs and Eternity (religion), Kingship and Power (rulers), or Society (the rest of us). On to of that, 87 statues of kings and gods will adorn its main hall.
And last but certainly not least, the additional Tutankhamun galleries will the contents of the tomb will be shown in their entirety for the first time; the old exhibit featured about 1500 items, while the new features nearly 5400.
The new premises and the Cairo metro will both be completed by next year, and will be connected for visitor convenience; however, the new Sphinx International Airport is also just 20 minutes away. Domestically, it’s an easy day trip from the nearby Red Sea resorts. And the museum will also boast eight restaurants, 28 gift shops, and a 3-D cinema.
The new museum has some pretty monumental ambitions: it aims to attract 5 million visitors a year in its first year, and then beat the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual 7 million not long after. Only time will tell…