A towering symbol of Egypt’s cultural renaissance, the new home of Tutankhamen’s treasures will be one of the grandest museums in the world.
One of the most captivating destinations on the planet, Egypt has seized the imagination of a global audience for centuries. Its potent blend of legends, myths, and fabled treasures is matched only by its monumental architecture—an awe-inspiring fusion of ancient rituals, art, and scientific prowess that continues to captivate even the most seasoned historians. Now, a modern marvel, The Grand Egyptian Museum, is poised to illuminate the wonders of this land of the Pharaohs. Far more than a mere repository of antiquities, it is set to be a reflection of some of humanity’s greatest achievements—ranging from the invention of paper to the creation of the 365-day calendar—and mysteries, epitomized by Tutankhamen’s gilded death mask. As it prepares for its grand unveiling, explore what makes this larger-than-life complex—already hailed among the Middle East’s finest museums—simply unmissable.
Twenty Years In The Making
Conceived through a 2003 competition that drew participation from major design firms, the complex was brought to life by the Irish firm Heneghan Peng Architects. Commencing construction in 2005, the Grand Egyptian Museum faced unprecedented setbacks, including the 2008 financial crisis, the Arab Spring in 2011, and the COVID-19 pandemic, causing substantial delays. In April 2021, the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade, a televised procession featuring 22 royal mummies, reignited global interest and hinted at an impending opening. While the Egyptian government and the museum have not disclosed the exact opening date, notable events like the Dior Men’s 2022 show have kept it in the public eye. There are speculations about a late 2023 inauguration.
A Grand Location
Positioned on the brink of the initial desert plateau, nestled between the iconic Great Pyramid of Giza—the sole surviving wonder of the ancient world—and Cairo, the Grand Egyptian Museum establishes a visual link between Egypt’s rich history and its contemporary landscape. The sprawling 120-acre site showcases a 50-meter level variation shaped by the Nile’s meandering course through the desert, resulting in a distinctive ‘edge’ celebrated by the museum’s massive stone facade.
Encompassing an expansive 484,000 square feet of floor space and costing a billion dollars, the museum boasts 12 exhibition halls. Welcoming visitors with a monumental forecourt, designed to evoke the emotional impact of standing before the pyramids, the interior features a soaring atrium adorned with a 36-foot-tall, 3,200-year-old statue of the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II. A majestic staircase ascends to the plateau level, offering panoramic views of the ancient wonders through the galleries. Integrated seamlessly into the museum’s masterplan, a series of gardens contribute to a favorable micro-climate.
Tutankhamen’s New Home
Tutankhamen, one of the most consequential Pharaohs of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, is indelibly associated with the world’s perception of Egyptian history, thanks to the opulent wealth and documentation unearthed in his nearly-intact tomb in 1922. Now, the entirety of his treasures, comprising objects intended for his afterlife journey, as well as garments, jewels, and chariots used in his lifetime, will be unveiled to the world. Displayed for the first time in two expansive museum halls, all 5,000 objects from his tomb will be part of the Grand Egyptian Museum’s comprehensive presentation, showcasing over 100,000 artifacts in total.