Egypt’s Grand Egyptian Museum’s experts hold history in their fingertips



Sun, 11 Apr 2021 - 04:35 GMT


Sun, 11 Apr 2021 - 04:35 GMT

File: Grand Egyptian Museum.

File: Grand Egyptian Museum.


CAIRO - 11 April 2021: Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum Project and Surrounding Area, met with the installation team of the Tutankhamum Galleries together with of Dr. Eltayeb Abbas, Assistant Minister for Archaeological Affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum, Dr. Hussein Kamal, Director General of the Conservation Centre and Dr. Issa Zeidan, Director General of Executive Affairs for Conservation and Transportation of Antiquities. The meeting was following up on the latest developments in support of the team’s vital work, including a discussion on the progress of the installation, as well as proposals for overcoming any obstacles to progress.
The Director General praised the sincere effort made by all involved in the project, offering support and encouragement, and stressing the importance of the work they are doing.
He noted that GEM staff have been part of this process from the beginning, since their fingertips first touched the artefacts when they were first transferred to GEM, during the meticulously conservation process and now as they take these objects to the Tutankhamun Galleries and put them in their place in the showcases.
The meeting ended with praise for the determination of all involved, who work consistently at the highest standards of excellence, as is customary for the people of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Together the GEM staff are writing a bright page in the modern history of Egypt.

The Grand Egyptian Museum received the fourth shrine of King Tutankhamun from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, which will be part  of  the display scenario of the halls of the treasures of the Golden King.

 Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum project and the surrounding area, explained that the transfer was carried out amid security measures by the Tourism and Antiquities Police and under the supervision of restorers and museum curators.
He indicated that although this shrine is the smallest of King Tutankhamun's shrines, it is considered one of the largest artifacts that have been transferred from the King’s treasures so far to the museum.
 Dr. Al-Tayeb Abbas, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Archaeological Affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum, said that this shrine will be subject to restoration work inside the museum. He added that it is made of gilded wood. 
 Dr. Al Tayeb Abbas said that the rest of the three shrines will be moved consecutively to be displayed with the rest of the  king’s treasures in Tutankhamun’s hall on an area of ​​7,500 squared meters.
 Mr. Moamen Othman, Head of the Museums Sector at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that before the transfer, the shrine was examined and a detailed report was prepared to document its preservation status.
He added that the restoration team carried out scientific and archaeological documentation of it and took all necessary scientific measures for restoration, maintenance.
They  strengthened certain parts to ensure the safety of the shrine during transportation.
 Mr. Moamen Othman added that the team covered the shrine with Japanese chu paper and the appropriate stiffening materials to ensure its complete safety during the transportation process.
Dr. Issa Zidan, Director General of Executive Affairs for Restoration and Transfer of Antiquities at the Grand Egyptian Museum, said that the transfer of the shrine was carried out according to international scientific standards.
He explained that the treasuers were dismantled into five parts with the same technique that the ancient Egyptian used, and then each side was individually wrapped and inner and another outer boxes were added using acid-free materials.
  Dr. Issa Zidan added that the team from the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir will reassemble the shrine again, within the next few days, inside its showcases in the halls of the Boy King’s treasures.
Grand Egyptian Museum contains a huge number of artifacts- over 50,000.

Included in this impressive total is the Tutankhamun collection which will be displayed at GEM in its entirety for the first time since its discovery almost 100 years ago.


In preparation for opening , GEM has recently begun installing the collection into specially designed galleries.


King Tutankhamun’s tunic will be among the pieces that will be on display.


 The tunic was restored by experts at the GEM Conservation Center.


Grand Egyptian Museum is committed to being a barrier-free cultural landscape in accordance with the highest international standards.

In order to make all visitors feel that they are welcome and valued contributors, GEM will work with people of determination.
 A special Appreciation Certificate in braille was presented to Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Naguib Mohmed Ibrahim, Director of the General Administration for Museum Education for People with Special Needs in the Museums Sector of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities by Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum Project and the Surrounding Area, to acknowledge the fruitful cooperation between Mr. Ahmed Mohamed and GEM as it prepares for opening with the vision of being a global model for accessible museums.
The 15th meeting of the Egyptian-Japanese Higher Committee of the Grand Egyptian Museum was held recently under the chairmanship of Dr. Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, in the presence of Ambassador Masaki Noke, Ambassador of Japan in Cairo, the main representative of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency "JICA" in Egypt, and Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum and its surrounding area, at the museum’s headquarters.
 The general manager of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Middle East and Europe sector and a number of senior officials from Tokyo participated in the meeting via video conference.
 Dr. Khaled El-Enany began the meeting by welcoming the attendees, stressing the depth of relations between Egypt and Japan, referring to the existing cooperation between the two countries at the tourism and archaeological level, especially in the Grand Egyptian Museum project, which is one of the major cultural projects in Egypt.  
He also reviewed the latest developments in the museum’s work and the results of the transfer of artifacts, noting that so far, 55,000 artifacts have been transferred to the museum from all museums and archaeological sites in the Arab Republic of Egypt, and that they are being restored in the museum’s antiquities restoration center.
 Ambassador Masaki Noke praised the effort made to finish the works in the museum, describing it as an exceptional project and that it is a prime example of cooperation between Egypt and Japan in the field of tourism and cultural work, and stressed that the dream will soon be a reality as everytime he pays a visit to the museum he finds more achievements.
 During the meeting, the latest developments in the works of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the process of negotiation and contracting with the coalition that will provide and operate services in the museum, which will be announced during the next few days, were discussed. In addition to discussing the possibility and mechanism of supporting the museum with experts from Japan in the fields of museums, technical cooperation, restoration and technology.
 The discussion also touched on the promotional campaign for the museum.
More than three thousand years after King Ramesses II built his unique temple at Abu Simbel in which the rays of the sun shine on the king's face on October 21 and February 21 of each year, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) echoes that achievement.
The rays of the rising sun now shine on the face of the statue of King Ramesses II standing tall in the Grand Hall of GEM.
This phenomenon occurs twice a year at GEM, on October 22 and February 22.
It is worth noting that the realization of this idea was guided by Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum Project and the surrounding area.
He had directed to feasibility of the idea when one of the engineers presented it in October 2019.
A team of museum architects and archaeologists were formed who worked on the theory and application use of astronomy as an integral part of the construction.
After a year of astronomical studies and accurate engineering calculations, the affect was achieved.
The sunlight now falls across the face of the statue of King Ramesses II, as the original phenomenon takes place in the temple of Abu Simbel on the same date and time!     
It is hoped in the future that the event will be celebrated in the Grand Hall at GEM twice a year, linking GEM with the original event at Abu Simbel, a unique event which will drive tourism and cultural celebrations.
Egypt’s Grand Egyptian Museum construction work is about 97% complete.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to one civilization and the whole world awaits its scheduled opening this year.
When it opens, it will contain more than 50 000 artefacts including the full collection of King Tutankhamun presented all together for the first time in history to the public.
The GEM project is the focus of attention for the Egyptian government, which removes any obstacles that may affect its completion. 
When the museum complex opens, the world will see wonders that can only be found in this great cultural edifice.
The striking museum facade was made with Egyptian materials and saved more than $ 180 million costing 10% of the original estimated cost.
Egypt’s Grand Egyptian Museum(GEM) is ensuring the safety of all employees and providing them with support when dealing with the global pandemic.
A booklet has been issued by the museum entitled 'We Have Never Stopped: In the Face of Corona' to document all the precautionary measures that have been taken since March 2020. 
The contents cover museum directives on how to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic that will also serve as a strong foundation for workers dealing with future outbreaks.
These guidelines have allowed the museum to achieve a balance between the health and safety of the staff while sustaining continued work essential for the project's success.
The work has been never stopped as all strive to complete this great institution, which is the dream of every lover of the Egyptian civilisation and its heritage.
In the framework of continuous communication and cooperation a joint proposal between the Egyptian Embassy in Japan (under the direction of Ambassador Ayman Kamel) and Grand Egyptian Museum Project (under the direction of Major General Atef Moftah, the General Supervisor of the GEM Project and Surrounding Area) was undertaken.
They proposed an idea to promote GEM before the official opening by creating a symbol of friendship which will be sponsored and marketed by the Egyptian Embassy in Japan through magazines as an innovative way of encouraging people in Japan to visit Egypt and GEM.
 The idea was presented to the museum’s Board of Directors and was made supported from initial process steps to the promotional plan, final design and approval.
The General Supervisor of GEM prepared the design of the friendship symbol, a shape that merge a symbol shared by both Egyptian and Japanese civilisations, the sun disk with the unique facade of GEM'.
Following endorsement of the design by the board, the promotional plan was put into action.
It was agreed that Egypt International Station magazine, headquartered in Japan under the direction of editor-in-chief Mr. Abdel-Rahman Yunus, would implement the promotional campaign.
The magazine participated in a competition in which 475 magazines from all over Japan took part.  
The Egyptian-Japanese Symbol of Friendship won first prize for its distinguished design and the associated promotional campaign.
A triumph as this is one of the most important prizes awarded by the Japan Tourism Authority.
 Moftah received on behalf of the Grand Egyptian Museum’s Conservation Centre two ISO certificates: a certificate of accreditation of international standards for environmental management systems (ISO 14001: 2015) and certification of the international standard specifications for the quality management systems (ISO90
The certificates were presented by Engineer Mohamed Habib, General Manager of OSS Middle East and Dr. Tarek Rizk, consultant of OSS Middle East and witnessed by Dr. Hussein Kamal, General Director of the GEM Conservation Center, Dr. Eissa Zidan, Director of Executive Affairs of GEM Conservation and Transportation, and Dr. Elshimaa Eid, Head of Health and Safety at GEM. 
These two certifications are in addition to the ISO certificate for occupational safety and health (ISO45001: 2018) which the museum had obtained last September.
GEM has obtained three ISO certificates in less than 60 days, the first time a museum obtains these three certificates at both the regional and international level. 
These achievements serve as confirmation to the constant efforts of the Grand Egyptian Museum to apply all international scientific standards, such as quality assurance, planning, performance evaluation, as well as achieving environmental sustainability.
Obtaining these ISO certificates shows the positive impact the museum has in the area and it is hope this will continue to be reflected in local and international tourism, as GEM leads the way in occupational health and safety, environmental sustainability and quality control, mechanisms specially designed to measure and ensure visitors’ satisfaction.
It is worth noting that the museum had issued a booklet entitled ‘We Have Never Stopped Facing Corona’ to document all actions taken in this unprecedented global pandemic. 
Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities previously announced that the Grand Egyptian Museum will be inaugurated on June,2020.



The display vitrines for the King Tutankhamun galleries are 100% completed and are currently undergoing testing.
He added that 90% of the artefacts for the Grand Staircase have been installed, and the control systems and surveillance cameras are also being finalised.
Regarding the implementation of the cable-car idea, Moftah stated that a study is currently being undertaken to connect the beginning of the Fayoum Road with the museum.
The cable-car is not intended to extend to the top of the Giza Plateau pyramids. It is expected that the cable-car will transport tourists from the GEM’s hotel area to the bottom of the Giza Plateau, running parallel to the Fayoum Road and on the other side of Al-Masaken sub-district where there will be access terminals for the new entrance and exit.
He stressed that the idea came after the State’s vision of establishing the largest museum in the world on an area of 3800 acres.
The museum’s overall area includes the 117 acres of the Giza Plateau and the area that links the GEM to the Giza Pyramids, where the Armed Forces Shooting Club once stood, bringing the total area of the museum to 3800 acres.
On the relationship between the GEM and the Fayoum Road, the General stated that the Fayoum Road will be developed and linked to the museum through tourist walking trails.
Furthermore, there is currently a study being conducted to provide a direct link between Cairo Airport and hotels that will be developed within the museum area, located between Fayoum Road and the GEM.
Visitors will be able to move freely within the museum area, from the GEM to the Giza Plateau, in a variety of ways, either on foot, golf-buggy or cable-car.
Moftah also commented on the recent discovery in Saqqara, saying: “I requested that the Saqqara Cache be added to the artefacts scheduled for display in the GEM, as well as the Asasif Cache, both will join the museum’s exhibition programme. We will prepare two exhibition halls of the GEM to be called the ‘Hidden Hall’ to hold the coffins. The GEM has two museum exhibition halls with a total area of 2500 square meters, in addition to three halls measuring 600 square meters for temporary displays and exhibitions of both ancient and modern art”.

The Grand Egyptian Museum will be the largest museum in the world dedicated to ancient Egyptian culture.

This is one of a kind museum is tailor made to preserve and exhibits Egypt precious national heritage with state-of-the-art conservation laboratories, along with educational facilities, temporary exhibition halls, a children’s museum, a conference centre, restaurants, cafes, shops and large gardens for everyone to enjoy.

GEM will house over 5000 artifacts of Egypt’s most famous king Tutankhamun, from his royal tomb, many never seen in public before. The Main Galleries show material from the Prehistoric to the Roman periods, while our entrance areas focus on Kingship and Power.


All GEM exhibitions will be contextualised for the visitor, with stories, texts, digital interactives and media displays.

The cherry on top that Grand Egyptian Museum will contain the first ever hanging obelisk on show at the entrance of the museum.

GEM’s Executive Affairs for Restoration and Transportation of Antiquities Eissa Zidan previously said that the restoration and construction of the world's first hanging obelisk was completed and placed in front of the main facade of the museum, the bottom of the obelisk will contain the cartridges of King Ramses II.

Zidan added that the aim of the obelisk design made by Major General Atef Moftah, is to make GEM’s visitor able see the cartridge from below.

The design allows the visitor to enter the obelisk base to see the archaeological base below it and by looking at the top of the obelisk, cartridges of King Ramesses II can be seen.

Zidan further explained that the design of the obelisk is unique in the world, where the obelisk will be hung on four columns, taking into account the loads and vibrations on the body of the obelisk. The hanging obelisk will be the first artefact to receive the visitor outside the lobby of the museum.

GEM’s Executive Affairs for Restoration and Transportation of Antiquities confirmed the completion of the obelisk restoration work, including mechanical and chemical cleaning, and strengthening of cracks in it, pointing out that the reassembling the obelisk is currently being completed.

He added that the word (Egypt) will be engraved in all languages of the world on the the columns and on the sides of the base bearing the obelisk, so that this design becomes a mix between the Egyptian genius in the past, present and future.

The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum is one of the main events that Egypt and the whole world is waiting for in 2020.


More than 49,603 artifacts were moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum so far.

One of the most important transferred artifacts were the statues of King Ramses II, Sekhmet and Seti, in addition to a huge pink-granite portray of Ramses VI, and another distinguished set of statues that express the mastery of ancient Egyptian art.

Also a statue of King Khafra made of alabaster and a statue of the priest Kay made of colored limestone, depicting the priest sitting on a seat with a half backrest, beside his left foot is a small statue of his wife and a sarcophagus of king Senusert I was transferred to GEM.

On October 19, 2019 ministry of antiquities announced the discovery of the largest cache in the cemetery of El-Assasif by the Egyptian archaeological mission. A total of 30 coffins spanning back to the 22nd Pharaonic Dynasty were discovered and placed in a warehouse to protect them from thievery.

The 30 archaeological coffins have been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The cache was buried one meter from the surface of the ground. The first row consisted of 18 coffins and the second consisted of 12 coffins for men, women, and 3 children.

For the first time GEM will display Tutankhmaum treasures in one place. The total number of antiquities belonging to King Tutankhamen is 5398. Among king Tut’s artefacts that was transferred is his coffin.

The transferred coffin is one of the three coffins of Tutankhmaum, portraying the golden king as God Osiris. The coffin was discovered in King Tut’s burial chamber in 1922. The outer ark is made of gilded wood.

The hands are clipped with gold foil, crossed across the chest, while holding royal decals inlaid with blue and red glass beads. It is 223.5 cm in length, 86.8 cm in diameter, while its height is 105.5 cm. The ark contains silver handles on both sides that were used to move the lid.

Minister of Antiquities announced that 50000 artifacts will be displayed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.






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