If you’re fascinated by the ancient world of Egypt and all its mysteries, then you’re in for a grand surprise. The Grand Museum of Giza in Cairo is the new star of antiquity.
It is the first public museum in Egypt designed to showcase the country’s history from its prehistory to the Greco-Roman periods. The museum, which has been built near Giza pyramids and Saqqara, was originally slated for completion in 2012 when then-president Hosni Mubarak announced it as the centerpiece of culture under his “Egypt 2020” initiative, but delays led to its eventual opening seven years later.
The Grand Museum of Giza covers an area of 4. 8 million square feet and has been built at a cost of $800 million. It is an ambitious project by the country that has for decades had a difficult relationship with its own history. The museum is divided into five main halls. The Temple of Isis, a hall designed to show the history of ancient Egyptian temples, contains the most important of the 5,500 exhibits in the museum.
The museum is organized into three buildings: the main building, the auxiliary building and the temporary exhibition area. The main building is where all of Egypt’s antiquities are displayed, from jewelry and pottery to papyruses and statues. The auxiliary building houses artifacts from Nubia, Ethiopia and Sinai. The temporary exhibition area has a gallery dedicated to ancient Egypt’s Greco-Roman contributions after the Egyptian use of Greek and Roman civilization.
The museum is a sprawling complex of domes and columns and is very modern in design. Ancient artifacts have been added to modern technology, such as the use of solar energy and a high-speed rail network to create an “entertaining” experience for visitors.
There are several elements that make this museum very unique. For example, it was built on an area of land that was once a quarry for limestone. In order to use this location, the designers decided to leave part of the rock in place, creating a huge outdoor exhibition area that exposes some of the underpinnings of modern Egyptian culture.
There are 100 galleries, including the 12 main galleries that feature Egypt’s long history as well as the history of science and civilization and six palaces for temporary exhibitions. By far the largest palace will be dedicated to Tutankhamun with 10 other smaller ones for artifacts from different eras of Egyptian history. The other 12 galleries will feature artifacts from the Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, and Greco-Roman periods.
The walls are covered in hieroglyphics that visitors can decode themselves, a nod to Egypt’s long history of writing. The museum has more than 3,500 pieces on display that date back to 5,000 BCE. They range from traditional objects such as pots and bowls to more abstract art. The items are scattered around the museum and occasionally hidden by walls and curtains to give visitors a more “interactive” experience. The combination of traditional methods and modern innovations makes this museum a worthy favorite for tourists who are interested in ancient cultures.
The museum’s director Tarek Tawfiq told Reuters: “We built it from scratch as we wanted to establish a new identity and not simply put another structure on top of the existing buildings.”
Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany added: “The museum is at the heart of several components that complement each other and are dependent on each other.”
We hope to encourage all tourists of Egypt to visit the museum. You can always go back through pictures and videos and find new clues about ancient history, but nothing beats seeing it in person.