Bottom Line Up Front:
- Unconfirmed reports suggest that a grand opening ceremony could take place some time in or around October, 2020.
- Some of the GEM’s rooms, halls, and facilities may remain unfinished until 2021, while the main parts of the museum are opened up following the official ceremony in what may be termed another “soft opening.”
Once completed, the new Grand Egyptian Museum will not only be a place to preserve and display Egypt’s most valuable historic treasures, but the building will also nearly be a monument unto itself. The 1 billion-dollar mega-project is on track to become the largest archaeological museum in the world, and the largest museum dedicated to a single civilization.
Egypt is unlike any other place, and it’s history is unlike that of any other as well. No other country, civilization, or empire has ever had its own dedicated field of study – it’s own “-ology” – as Egypt does. And no other civilization has ever yielded the quantity and quality of artifacts and treasures that are still still being pulled from the ground to this very day.
Egypt indeed holds as unique a place in the past as it does in the present, and the Grand Egyptian Museum will finally give this great country the exhibition space and preservation facilities that it deserves. But when will the grand mega-building project finally come to fruition and open its doors to the public?
GEM Project Timeline
The Grand Egyptian Museum project has been in the works for nearly two decades. According to GrandEgyptianMuseum.org, a pre-opening informational website about the Grand Egyptian Museum, the project’s timeline looks like this:
- 2002 – An international design competition was announced for the new museum and a ceremonial cornerstone was laid for the project on the site of its eventual construction in Giza.
- 2003 – The winner of the design competition was announced as Irish architectural firm Heneghan Peng.
- 2005 – Construction on the new museum begins, although delays and setbacks soon follow.
- 2011 – The Arab Spring uprisings halt nearly all progress on the new museum.
- 2014 – Progress on the museum resumes with the help of international loans to cover the project’s financial shortfalls.
- 2018 – The Grand Egyptian Museum was originally scheduled to open to the public in this year, although as the months came and went during the year, the government announced toward the end of the year that the opening would be delayed until 2022.
- 2019 – The government reversed course mid-way through this year and announced that the new museum would now open in 2020.
- 2020 – The Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to open in some form by the end of this year. (For more detail and information regarding this timeline, see GrandEgyptianMuseum.org/about.
At some point in calendar year 2020, the official grand opening ceremony for the Grand Egyptian Museum is widely expected to take place, given how much the government has invested in promoting a sure 2020 opening. However, what remains to be seen is the extent to which the entire Grand Egyptian Museum complex will be completed, operational, and available for public patronage, including all of its rooms, exhibition halls, and conference facilities.
It is conceivable that the “soft opening” that had been floated in years past may actually be the version of an opening seen in late 2020, while additional spaces and facilities within the main building and the greater complex are completed and opened on a rolling basis throughout 2021.
Middle East Travel & Tourism will update our readership with new intel, information, and analysis as it becomes available throughout 2020.