Built over 50 hectares of land, and just 15 km south of Cairo, it is located in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is expected to hold 100,000 exhibits making it larger than the British Museum, which holds 80,000 artifacts on display.The project is to cost about $550 million US, and is expected to be finished by 2010. The Egyptian government is hoping to raise $40 million from a current tour of King Tutankhamun artifacts in the United States to go towards funding for the project, but there is also backing from Japanese investors.
The Great Egyptian Museum (GEM) will have capacity for 15,000 visitors a day and house an archeological research institute as well as extensive storage. It is also designed to include an auditorium, a media and a publication centre for books, CDs and video tapes. The creation of a data bank and an Egyptological Library will satisfy the need of many scholars keen on the study of the museum collection.
The GEM is situated at the junction where the fertile valley meets the desert, which for the ancient Egyptians was the land of the after-life. And the most befitting final resting place for King Tut's mummy and treasures that were discovered in his tomb in 1922. The museum is also expected to exhibit the Sun Boat that was believed to have transported Queen Cleopatra's body, which now stands in its own museum near the Pyramids. On August 25, 2006 the 83 ton statue of Ramases II was moved from Ramases Square in Cairo to the Giza Plateau, in anticipation of construction of The GEM. The Statue of Ramases II, estimated to be approximately 3,200 years old, will be cleaned and touched up, and will be situated at the entrance of The GEM by 2010.