It was 2002 when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak laid the foundation stone of the largest museum in the world dedicated to Egyptian civilization. Twenty years later, the GEM – Grand Egyptian Museum has not yet welcomed any visitors, but in these days a date for the possible opening has been announced: November 2022.
It’s just a few days before the inauguration of the largest and most complete Egyptian museum in the world, built two kilometers north-west of the Necropolis of Giza. The north and south walls of the building, designed by Irish architectural firm Heneghan Peng, are in fact aligned with those of the Pyramids of Cheops and Mycerinus, defining an area of 500 thousand square meters.
For years, project managers have been moving Egyptian artworks to the GEM area. Already in 2006 the statue of Ramses II, 11 meters high and weighing 75 tons, had been moved from Cairo to the Giza plateau, while in 2018 the chariots of Pharaoh Tutankhamen were transported, thus surviving the fire set in 2018 in the museum of the Egyptian capital.
The GEM will contain a total of 100 thousand artifacts, displayed in chronological order and coming not only from the Cairo museum – to date the largest when it comes to Egyptian art – but also from other sites such as Luxor or Alexandria. Gold masks, sarcophagi, objects of enormous artistic and historical value, but also monumental works, all of which will be on display from the second half of 2022, in the triangular alabaster building that will complete the archaeological site of Giza.