Grand Egyptian Museum: finishing touches added ahead of imminent opening

One of the museum’s most important pieces, Khufu’s first boat is yet to be moved to its display

Officials are making the final preparations for the opening later this year of the Grand Egyptian Museum, a landmark national project that is hoped to lend a significant boost to tourism.

A statement on Wednesday by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism says king Khufu's afterlife boat, rated among the museum's key exhibits, will shortly be moved into its spot at the museum.

The boat has been meticulously dismantled from its original location close to the Giza Pyramids and will be put together and displayed as the sole piece in a dedicated chamber.

The ministry’s statement also said that contracts with food vendors and retail stores are nearing completion and that will determine which outlets will set up shop inside the museum.

Workshops on the best management strategies will also take place throughout August to ensure that the museum’s operations run smoothly once it is open.

The ministry’s statement was vague on the exact opening date of the museum, however, reports by a number of media outlets point to October or November .

The museum’s exhibition halls are 98 per cent complete, said tourism minister Khaled El Anany in June. The museum will display 50,000 artefacts, which when once open will be the largest archaeological museum in the world dedicated to a single civilisation, spanning an area of 480,000 square metres overlooking the Giza plateau.

Some of ancient Egypt’s most illustrious relics will be displayed, including the famed collection of King Tutankhamen, which has been moved in its entirety to the museum’s halls after a world tour that saw it displayed in Paris, London and Los Angeles.

A number of artefacts will be shown for the first time, including a cache of coffins unearthed last year that made international headlines. Other pieces have been moved from other museums in a number of Egyptian provinces.

The museum’s opening was set for the end of 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Updated: July 14th 2021, 3:23 PM