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Egyptian Museum : The One That Compiles The World's Largest Collection on The Matter.

There are many museums around the world that proudly display pharaonic objects but the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is the one that compiles the world's largest collection on the matter. There are more than 120.000 artefacts to enrich visitor's experience. Know everything about this fascinating place now!

What is the Egyptian Museum?

Also called Museum of Antiquities, it is one the highlights of a tour in Egypt. The museum specializes in items from Ancient Egypt that range from the Pharaonic to the Greek-Roman periods. Its collection is the largest in the world on the subject, in fact not all items can be displayed at once and the construction of a new museum is about to resolve this problem (we will talk about it below). 

Where is the Egyptian Museum  located?

In the capital of Egypt, Cairo. Its location is very central, right in Tahir Square, downtown. Visitors can go by car or subway (exit: Sadat station). Opening hours are from 9am to 7pm Monday to Wednesday, from 9am to 9pm on Sundays and Thursdays, and from 9am to 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Opening hours may be affected during the holy month of Ramadan.

What is the history of the Egyptian Museum?

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo was built out of the need to have a place to store the increasing number of Ancient Egypt artefacts discovered  during excavations. The Egyptian government decided it was time for all objects have their own place for display.

The Antiquities Service was created in 1835 but it was only in 1900 that the pieces were moved to the museum in Tahir Square, a palace built by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.

King Tutankhamen's Treasure Room in the Egyptian Museum

More than 3,500 objects were found in the Tutankhamen's tomb, such as the famous solid gold death mask that weighs 11kg. Therefore, the museum decided to create a room exclusively dedicated to the king's treasures. 

The tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen was the only one found almost completely intact in the Valley of the Kings, in 1922, and for this reason it is famous. Many other items, such as hundreds of pots and vases, jewellery and even a chariot were found in the tomb. King Tutankhamen's Treasure Room in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo displays the main and most valuable pieces.

The Mummy Room in the Egyptian Museum

The Mummies Room in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo currently has 11 mummies on display. In the past it housed 27. Even though smaller in number the room is no less interesting than the other collections in the museum, as the mummies on display impress by their excellent state of preservation. Many have visible hair and polish nail, as if being at least 3000 years old meant nothing. 

The room also counts with a prestigious recent discovery made in 2007: the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut. For those interested in visiting the Mummies Room, be aware that an extra ticket is necessary. 

Any tips before visiting the Egyptian Museum?

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is divided into two floors * (see distribution below) and there is a lot to see. For those who like to do everything with plenty of time, better to plan your visit and go early as it is not difficult to spend an entire day between those walls and yet not see everything.

Visitor will realise that many items are missing though. This is due the construction of the Great Egyptian Museum, next to the Giza Pyramids. Therefore some pieces have already started to be transferred to their new home. Nevertheless the Egyptian Museum is a great experience and worth a visit. 

*Ground floor

Atrium, Ancient Dynasties, Ancient Empire, Montuhotep II, Sphinxes, Hathor, Royal Tombs of Tanis, Amarna, Ramses II and Greco-Roman Period.

First floor

Royal Mummies, Tutankhamen's Treasure Room, Ancient Egyptian Jewels, Royal Tombs of Tanis, Portraits of Mummies from the Greco-Roman Era, Pharaonic Objects, Yuya and Thuyu, Animal Mummies, Models of the Pharaonic Armies and the Middle Kingdom.

Will the Egyptian Museum close after the Great Egyptian Museum opening?

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is a museum that is being built to be the new home of thousands of Ancient Egypt artefacts. As the collection is constantly  increasing, a larger and more modern space was considered necessary.

Yet the new museum is a mega production that promises to do more and offer visitors a complete experience. It will contain interactive movie theatres, an archaeological research centre, among other facilities. The new King Tutankhamen's Treasure Room, for example, will be able to exhibit up to 4,000 objects.

The works began in 2012 and the opening is expected to 2020/2021 (dates already changed in the past and it is possible that they might be postponed again). In the meantime, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo remains in operation and we are waiting for more information about what will happen to the building after the opening of GEM.