Construction and Opening
About its construction
The construction and development of the Grand Egyptian Museum project began in May 2005 based on three main phases:
Phase I The Enabling Works The enabling of the site lasted for 6 months since the project started in May 2005 to November 2005. The initial enabling works consisted on the erection of a site perimeter fence and site hoarding, along with the start of the site structure clearance and excavation works. This phase of the project included the provision of the right fencing, proper lighting and signs.
Phase II. The Conservation CenterIs designed to be one of the largest and best equipped Center of Egyptology Conservation and Research. The facilities are designed to serve as a regional center for conservation activities.
The Electric Energy CenterThe Grand Egyptian Museum has an Electric Energy Station that contains the central air-conditioning and environmental control system to supply energy.
The Fire StationThe Fire Station is equipped with fire-resistance equipments and tools. The Civil Protection Authority manages and operates the safeguard of the museum and the neighborhood.
Phase IIIBulk ExcavationThis period involved the intensive work of sand relocation, sand removal, and leveling of the site. For a 7 month period the work continued for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in order to prepare the area to construct the main building.
Main Building & Master PlanThis phase includes the construction of the main Museum building, and implementation of the Master Plan, landscape parks and surrounding site infrastructure. It also includes the building of the exhibition galleries, archaeological study storage and educational centre; library and mediatheque, a children museum, children school and an outdoor recreational garden for kids, also a museum adapted for people with disabilities, a cultural and educational centre that contains a 3D cinema, theatre, arts and crafts workshops for adults and children; plus shops for retail and food and drinks, and recreational areas.
When it will be possible to visit the Museum?
The opening date of the Grand Egyptian Museum has been set, planned and pushed back on several occasions over the years. The initial project was announced back in 1992, in part to deal with need of unifying the Egyptian collection in one place. In 2002 the architectural competition for the design of the GEM was announced and in parallel the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak placed the foundation stone of the museum.
Over the years the Grand Egyptian Museum has been financed through a mix of local and international funding, thanks to donations and organisations as well.
The museum was set to be open in 2012, but then came the Egyptian revolution, and between 2011 and 2014 the government stopped the construction. As the project ramped back up thanks to loans from Japan. Then, in April 2018 a fire started near the entrance the Grand Egyptian Museum that did not affect the artifacts and objects, and the cause of the fire is still unknown to date. In May 2018, the last of King Tutankhamun’s chariots was moved to the museum. The GEM director, Tarek Tawfik announced in November 2018, the estimate for a full opening was rescheduled to the last quarter of 2020.
The museum is nearly completed, most of the work done but it is still 95 percent completed. Last fall the museum was opened for a brief time for a $250 hard hat tour, but then it became so popular that it eventually delayed the construction, so the program was pulled to resume the construction. Currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic it has been postponed yet again to 2021 to the public. However, the Grand Egyptian Museum is available for private small guided tours in advance of its official inauguration.