You probably don’t need to travel far to visit a museum with an Egyptian exhibit. Many of the world’s largest museums — as well as some quite small ones — are home to ancient Egyptian artifacts.
But if there is one place to see it all — or most of it — it is of course the country itself.
And Egypt may now finally be close to opening a new museum that will house the country’s many great treasures.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza has been in progress for 18 years with delays caused by political unrest and the Coronavirus pandemic.
But some private tours have now taken place and officials hope to open GEM to the public by February 2024.
The impressive new museum — which National Geographic compared to an enormous ship in the desert — will bring together thousands of pieces from different locations across the country that tell the story of Egypt.
There will be over 100,000 artifacts displayed in total, but the star of the show is perhaps the space for the more than 5,000 items discovered in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Among the many ancient statues of kings and queens is a giant granite statue of Ramses II, which is 3,200 years old.
He stands 11 meters high in the atrium of the museum and he is, just like the giant building itself — which is said to be the world’s largest archaeological museum — impossible to ignore.
And beyond the pyramid patterns on the museum’s exterior is a walkway that the museum’s director says is longer than the streets of La Rambla in Barcelona or the Champs-Élysees in Paris. This one leads people to the pyramids themselves.
This is not everything that Egypt has to offer but it is a centerpiece, and officials hope that it will continue to draw attention to the country’s remarkable history. And maybe — just maybe — some of those museums around the world with their own Egyptian artifacts will consider sending them home.