Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim made an inspection tour of the Egyptian Grand Museum (GEM), examining its main halls and the exhibition designing.
Restoration work on the first group of King Tutankhamun's artifacts
that will be part of the collection of GEM has been finalized, the
minister had said during a similar tour of the place last week to
ascertain that everything there is going according to plan so as to have
the museum ready for inauguration by 2015.
GEM, also known as the Giza Museum, is a planned museum of artifacts of
ancient Egypt. Described as the largest archaeological museum in the
world, the museum will be sited on 50 hectares (120 acres) of land
approximately two kilometers from the Giza pyramids and is part of a new
master plan for the plateau.
The design of the building was decided by means of an architectural
competition. The competition was announced on 7 January, 2002. The
organisers received 1557 entries from 82 countries, making it the largest
architectural competition in history. In the second stage of the
competition, 20 entries were asked to submit additional information.
Judging was complete by 2 June, 2003. The competition was won by the
company Heneghan Peng from Dublin, Ireland, winning 250,000 dollars.
Second place was awarded to Coop Himmelblau. The building is designed by
Heneghan Peng Architects, Buro Happold and Arup. The exhibition
masterplan, exhibition design and museology is by Metaphor and Cultural
The building is shaped like a chamfered triangle in plan. It sits on a
site two kilometers west of the pyramids, near a motorway interchange. The
building's north and south walls line up directly with the Great Pyramid
of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure. In front of the building is a large
plaza, filled with date plants. One of the main features of the Museum is
the translucent stone wall, made of alabaster, that makes up the front
facade of the building. Inside the main entrance is a large atrium, where
large statues will be exhibited.
On 2 February, 2010 Hill International announced that Egypt's Ministry
of Culture had signed a contract with a joint venture of Hill and EHAF
Consulting Engineers to provide project management services during the
design and construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The total estimated project cost is US$ 550m, US$ 300m of which will be
financed from Japanese loans, the remaining will be financed by the
Supreme Council of Antiquities, other donations and international funds.
The new museum is designed to include the latest technology, including
virtual reality. The Museum will also be an international center of
communication between museums, to promote direct contact with other local
and international museums. The Grand Egyptian Museum will include a
children's museum, conference center, training center, and workshops
similar to the old Pharaonic places.
On 5 January, 2002 the foundation stone of the Grand Egyptian Museum
was laid. On 25 August, 2006 the Statue of Ramesses II was moved from
Ramses Square in Cairo to the Giza Plateau, in anticipation of
construction of the museum.
In 2007 GEM secured a $300 million loan from the Japan Bank for
International Co-operation. The Egyptian Government will fund $147 million
while the remaining $150 million will be funded through donations and
In late August 2008 the design team submitted over 5,000 drawings to
the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Following this, the construction tender
was announced in October 2008. Earthmoving has begun to excavate the site
for the building.
On 11 January, 2012 A joint venture between Egypts Orascom
Construction Industries (OCI) and the Belgian BESIX Group was awarded the
contract for phase three of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), a deal valued
at $810 million.