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Grand Egyptian Museum

Coordinates: 29°59′37″N 31°07′11″E / 29.99361°N 31.11972°E / 29.99361; 31.11972
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Grand Egyptian Museum
المتحف المصرى الكبير
General information
Architectural stylePharaonic (Egyptian)
LocationGiza, Greater Cairo
Construction started12 March 2012 (2012-03-12)[2]
CompletedFebruary 2023
Opened6 February 2023 (limited access)
Cost$1 billion[1]
ClientMinistry of Antiquities
Technical details
Floor area490,000 square metres (5,300,000 sq ft)[3]
Design and construction
Architect(s)Heneghan Peng
Structural engineerArup
Services engineerBuro Happold
Main contractorOrascom Construction/BESIX

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM; Arabic: المتحف المصرى الكبير al-Matḥaf al-Maṣriyy al-Kabīr), also known as the Giza Museum, is an archaeological museum under construction in Giza, Egypt, about 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) from the Giza pyramid complex. The Museum will host over 100,000 artifacts from ancient Egyptian civilization, including the complete Tutankhamun collection, and many pieces will be displayed for the first time.[4] With 81,000 m2 (872,000 sq ft) of floor space, it will be the world's largest archeological museum.[5] It is being built as part of a new master plan for the Giza Plateau, known as "Giza 2030".

The GEM will also host permanent exhibition galleries, temporary exhibitions, special exhibitions, children museum, and virtual and large format screens with a total floor area of 32,000 m2.

The museum was built by a joint venture of the Belgian BESIX Group and the Egyptian Orascom Construction.[6]

The original estimated completion date was 2013, and past estimates of the opening date have varied. In July 2023, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities said that he "anticipates" the opening to be between October 2023 and February 2024.[7]


The building design was decided by an architectural competition[8] announced on 7 January 2002. The organisers received 1,557 entries from 82 countries, making it the second largest architectural competition in history. In the second stage of the competition, 20 entries submitted additional information on their designs. Judging was complete by 2 June 2003. The competition was won by architects Róisín Heneghan and Shi-Fu Peng, and their company Heneghan Peng Architects of Ireland; the awarded prize was US$250,000.[9] The building was designed by Heneghan Peng Architects, Buro Happold, Arup and ACE Consulting Engineers (Moharram and Bakhoum). The landscape and site masterplan was designed by West 8; the exhibition masterplan, exhibition design, and museology was led by Atelier Brückner.[10] On 2 February 2010, Hill International announced that Egypt's Ministry of Culture had signed a contract with a joint venture of Hill and EHAF Consulting Engineers to provide project management services during the design and construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum.[11]

Exterior under construction in 2019

The building is shaped like a chamfered triangle in plan. It sits on a site 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) northwest of the pyramids, near a motorway interchange. 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 project is estimated to cost US$550 million, of which US$300 million will be financed from Japanese loans. The remaining costs are financed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities, other donations, and international funds.

The new museum is designed to include newer technologies, such as virtual reality. The museum will also be an international center of communication between museums, to promote direct contact with other local and international museums. The Grand Egyptian Museum will include a children's museum, conference center, training center, and workshops designed similarly to the old Pharaonic places.


Statue of Ramesses II inside the Grand Egyptian Museum

On 5 January 2002, then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak laid the foundation stone of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

In 2006, the 3,200 years old Statue of Ramesses II was relocated from Ramses Square in Cairo to the Grand Egyptian Museum site, near that Giza Plateau. It was moved to the atrium of the museum in January 2018.[12][13]

In 2007, GEM secured a $300 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The Egyptian Government will fund $147 million while the remaining $150 million will be funded through donations and international organisations.[14]

In late August 2008, the design team submitted over 5,000 drawings to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Following this, the construction tender was announced in October 2008. Earthmoving has begun to excavate the site for the building.

Tendering was due in September 2009, with an estimated completion date of 2013.[15]

On 11 January 2012, a joint venture between Egypt's Orascom Construction (OC) and the Belgian BESIX was awarded the contract for phase three of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), a deal valued at $810 million.

The museum under construction in 2019

In January 2018, Besix and Orascom brought in and installed an 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 size.[16][17]

On 29 April 2018, a fire broke out near the entrance of the GEM but artifacts were not damaged and the cause of the fire was unknown.[18]

In May 2018, the last of King Tutankhamun's chariots was moved to GEM.[19]

In November 2018, the estimate for a full opening was pushed back to last quarter of 2020, according to Tarek Tawfik, GEM's director.[20] In April 2020, the planned opening of the museum was pushed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[21] Various subsequent estimates ranged from 2020 to 2023.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

In August 2020, two colossal statues discovered in the sunken city of Thonis-Heracleion by the IEASM[28] were set up in the entrance hall of the GEM.[29]

Although there has been no official announcement of an opening date, in July 2023, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities said that he "anticipates" the opening to be between October 2023 and February 2024.[30] As of May 2024, the museum is scheduled to open "later this year".[31] In May 2024 Gihane Zaki was appointed to the post of the head of the museum.[32]

The GEM is available for private tours in advance of its official opening.[33]

Logo design[edit]

On 10 June 2018, the museum's "logo" was revealed, which will be used in the museum's promotional campaign in Egypt and the world. The Lebanese-Dutch logo was designed by Tariq Atrissi.[34] The cost of the design amounted to 800,000 Egyptian pounds, which included the costs of designing the museum exhibition implemented by the German company "Atelier Bruckner".[35]


Tutankhamun's death mask

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.[36][37]

In August 2021 the reconstructed Khufu ship, a solar barque, was relocated to the Grand Egyptian Museum from the Giza Solar boat museum beside the Great Pyramid.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Egypt's new £889 million museum is fit for a pharaoh". The Japan Times. 19 October 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Construction begins of Japan-backed Egyptian museum". The Japan Times. 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum has been kicked-off". Japan International Cooperation Agency. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  4. ^ Nancy Farghalli (25 July 2006). "Marketplace: Egypt's next big thing". Marketplace. American Public Media. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) | History, Collection, Opening, Architect, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  6. ^ "BESIX on Grand Egyptian Museum's construction challenges". Construction Week.
  7. ^ "Grand Egyptian Museum to open between October and February: Minister". Egypt Independent. 4 July 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  8. ^ Mansour, Yasser (2003). The Grand Museum of Egypt: International Architecture Competition. American Univ in Cairo Press. ISBN 9789773054717. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Musée du Caire - Résultats". Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  10. ^ "heneghan peng architects - The Grand Egyptian Museum | Giza, Egypt". www.hparc.com. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Hill International-Led Joint Venture Selected as Project Manager for the Grand Egyptian Museum".[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Egypt's treasures to receive a new $1 billion home - CNN". CNN. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Ramses II statue to be transferred to Grand Egyptian Museum entrance - Egypt Independent". Egypt Independent. 18 January 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Grand Egyptian Museum project moves forward". Thenational.ae. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  15. ^ Lidstone, Digby (20 July 2009). "Egyptian Grand Museum worthy of the Pharaohs". Thenational.ae. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  16. ^ "Giant statue of Ramses II moves to new museum". www.theconstructionindex.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Besix hauls 82-tonne statue of Ramses II to new home - News - GCR". www.globalconstructionreview.com. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Investigators Continue to Probe Grand Egyptian Museum Blaze in Giza". Albawaba. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  19. ^ "King Tutankhamen's military chariot moved to new Egyptian museum". Reuters. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Grand Egyptian Museum pushes full opening to 2020". theartnewspaper.com. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Egypt postpones launch of mega projects to 2021 due to coronavirus". Reuters. 4 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Opening of Cairo's greatly anticipated $1bn Grand Egyptian Museum delayed again because of coronavirus". www.theartnewspaper.com. 7 April 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Grand Egyptian Museum Opening Announcement". grandegyptianmuseum.org. Retrieved 5 February 2022. (despite its URL, this is not the museum's official web site)
  24. ^ "Egypt's Zahi Hawass mobilises for return of artefacts from British Museum, Louvre - Ancient Egypt - Antiquities".
  25. ^ Gleiter, Gus (30 September 2022). "What has the Egyptian Government said about when the GEM will open?". Egypt Adventures Travel. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  26. ^ Gleiter, Gus (3 December 2022). "Essential Egypt". Egypt Adventures Travel. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  27. ^ "PAST EVENTS - OPENING OF THE GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM". Retrieved 7 November 2022.
  28. ^ "L'IEASM en bref, Hebdo Al-Ahram" (in French). 2 October 2023.
  29. ^ "Two royal statues placed in GEM's Great Staircase, Egypt Today". 26 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Grand Egyptian Museum to open between October and February: Minister". 4 July 2023.
  31. ^ https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-024-01467-w/index.html
  32. ^ Gihane Zaki appointed as head of the Grand Egyptian Museum Ahram Online , Sunday 26 May 2024
  33. ^ Vermillion, Stephanie (9 August 2019). "A 'secret' tour inside the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum". CNN. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  34. ^ "Tarek Atrissi Design". atrissi.com. 12 July 2018.
  35. ^ "The Grand Egyptian Museum Logo Launch". .atelier-brueckner. 12 June 2018.
  36. ^ Allison Keyes: For the First Time, All 5,000 Objects Found Inside King Tut’s Tomb Will Be Displayed Together, Smithsonian.com, 21 December 2016.
  37. ^ "Two royal statues placed in GEM's Great Staircase". Egypt Today. 26 August 2020.
  38. ^ "In pictures: Egypt pharaoh's 'solar boat' moved to Giza museum". BBC News. 7 August 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2021.

External links[edit]

29°59′37″N 31°07′11″E / 29.99361°N 31.11972°E / 29.99361; 31.11972