Yep, you read that right. Egypt is about to inaugurate the world’s largest museum – more commonly dubbed as the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). According to Egyptian news outlets, word has it that the museum will have a grand opening ceremony in 2020, celebrating the foundation of the museum.

The GEM, a large futuristic meets contemporary architecturally designed building, covers 650,000 sq ft. This makes it the biggest archaeological museum in the world.

Artist’s rendering of how the Grand Egyptian Museum will look once completed. Photograph – Archimation
Artist’s rendering of how the Grand Egyptian Museum will look once completed. Photograph – Archimation

The museum will house more than 100,000 objects and artifacts – some of which will be displayed for their very first time.

This isn’t the first time we hear news of the grand opening of the grand museum, though. The $1bn project was first scheduled to open in 2015 but has been facing several delays since.

Exterior of the Grand Egyptian Museum
Exterior of the Grand Egyptian Museum on 4 August 2019. Photograph – Alamy

Officials have been working on transferring hundreds of thousands of items to the GEM, including Ramses II’s colossal statue – that’s rumored to greet visitors at the entrance of the museum. The statue was transferred in 2018 by 11 horsemen dressed in military uniform amid celebrations.

ramses statue new museumOther notable artifacts in the museum will be Tutankhamen’s collection – with the 5,400 objects retrieved from the boy king’s tomb by Howard Carter in 1922. These items will be on display for the public for the first time.

tutankhamen gold coffin
An archaeologist works next to the gilded coffin of King Tutankhamen, which is undergoing restoration at the museum. Photograph – Mohamed Hossam-EPA

The museum is intended to infuse ancient with modern, with a 3D cinema seating 250 people and a children’s museum so that everyone can participate. The museum will also feature a panoramic view of the Giza Pyramids.

A museum like this is expected to attract millions of tourists to Egypt each year, according to officials, which will in turn help boost Egypt’s tourism – a battle that the country has been fighting since the steep following the 2011 revolts.

grand egyptian museum cairo

In turn, the celebrations will be large, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly reportedly said. Along with the museum’s supreme committee, the prime minister has been finalizing ceremony details like the date, schedule of the inauguration and such.

We’re holding to the edge of our seats to find out the opening date. With more than 80% of the museum complete, the opening is expected to kick off with a bang.