Inaugurated in 1975, the museum is a two-story building. The range of artifacts on display is far more restricted than the country's main collections in the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo; this was, however, deliberate, since the museum prides itself on the quality of the pieces it has, the uncluttered way in which they are displayed, and the clear multilingual labeling used.
The museum was conceived by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, which hired Dr. Mahmud El Hakim, a top Egyptian architect, to create the plans in 1962. The installation of the museum art works came later and was finished between 1972 and 1975.
Among the items on display are grave goods from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) and a collection of 26 New Kingdom statues that were found buried in a cache in nearby Luxor Temple in 1989. The royal mummies of two pharaohs - Ahmose I and Ramesses I - were also put on display in the Luxor Museum in March 2004, as part of the new extension to the museum, which includes a small visitor centre. A major exhibit is a reconstruction of one of the walls of Akhenaten's temple at Karnak. One of the featured items in the collection is a calcite double statue of the crocodile god Sobek and the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III.