The Grand Egyptian Museum Information
A thing or two about the GEM
If you have had a chance to visit the existing Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, located in Cairo, you will notice a notorious change from the 19th century to the 21st century with the planned Grand Egyptian Museum complex that is designed to be extremely flexible and suitable to house permanent and temporary exhibitions from ancient Egypt, that will allow an attendance up to 15,000 visitors per day once it is open for the public.
The GEM is the direct response for a need of a bigger and better space that will make justice for ancient Egypt history. The museum aims at taking a grasp of the wide variety and diversity of Egyptian heritage of arts and monuments that needed to be shown in one place, in one location to maintain and preserve this enormous legacy. The museum is almost ready and is placed of 50 hectares of land that is approximately 2 km from the Giza Pyramids.
Tahir Square Egyptian Museum
The current Egyptian Museum located in Cairo was designed at the end of the 19th century and was inaugurated in 1902. The building structure was designed to facilitate the easy flow of visitors from one gallery to the next, while considering the modern standards of natural lighting and air circulation of the time. It is located on the edge of Tahrir Square in Cairo, and it is hard to miss on any tour through the city.
When the museum opened over a century ago, it received nearly 500 visitors a day, that circulated within 15,000 sqm.; those numbers have skyrocketed today up to 5,000 and 7,000 visitors per day. In the beginning, the museum housed 35,000 artifacts; today it shows over 140,000 objects, and not even counting the ones that are stored in the basement.
The Egyptian museum houses over 120,000 artifacts, including the contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb and also most of the mummies that have been discovered since the 19th century. With approximately 2,500,000 annual visitors, overcrowding became an obvious problem. As a solution, the Egyptian government allocated a part of land, with the outstanding Giza Pyramids in the background, to build the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The Grand Egyptian Museum Construction
The construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum project began in May 2005 based on three main phases:
Phase I Enabling Works. 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.
Phase II Conservation Center. It is designed to be one of the largest and best equipped Center of Egyptology Conservation and Research.
Energy Center, Fire Station. The GEM has an Electric Energy Station that contains the central air-conditioning and environmental control system to supply energy. The Fire Station is fully equipped with fire-resistance equipments and tools.
Phase III Bulk Excavation. This period involved the intensive work of sand relocation, sand removal, and leveling of the site.
Main Building & Master Plan. This 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; and much more.
Exhibitions to enjoy
The Grand Egyptian Museum wide variety of exhibitions will cover close to one third of the total museum grounds displaying thousands of artifacts and objects from ancient Egypt, and the greatest collection that has been found of King Tutankhamun’s reign and other Egyptian Pharaohs as well. The display is aimed primarily to adults, but it is also designed to meet the needs of audience ranging from the casual observer to the specialist.
It is described as the largest archaeological museum in the world, and it is located 2 km from the Giza Pyramids and 20 minutes away from the modern city of Cairo.
Map of the Museum
The design of the Grand Egyptian Museum was undertaken by architects of world class stature.The GEM is built on a slope and straddles the 162 foot difference in levels between the Nile Valley and the Giza Plateau. The shape of the building is like a chamfered triangle in plan, and the complex is very flexible and suited to house the permanent and temporary exhibitions as well.