King Tut relics move to Grand Egyptian Museum

Artefacts begin transfer to new facility near Giza Pyramids.

A gilded funerary bed and chariot from Tutankhamun’s tomb have been transferred from the existing Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) located 23 km southwest of the capital, near the Giza Pyramids.

The relics, discovered by British archeologist Howard Carter in 1922, are among more than 1,000 being transported carefully to the state-of-the-art museum which is scheduled to open in May 2018.

The delicate transfer of King Tutankhamun's artefacts, which are more than 3,000 years old, is being undertaken in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which is helping Egyptian authorities to restore, pack and relocate dozens of items from the existing museum to the new facility.

More than 1,000 objects in the Egyptian museum in Cairo are being restored and transferred to the new museum according to Egypt's antiquities minister Khaled Al-Enany.

The Egyptian Museum made headlines around the world in August 2014 after museum staff accidentally broke Tutankhamun's burial mask before re-attaching it with superglue in a botched repair job.

Billed as the largest archaeological museum in the world, the building will have a 93,000-sqm exhibition area housing 100,000 ancient Egyptian artefacts. Construction began in 2012 and the estimated cost of the project is expected to be close to $1 billion. The majority of the funding comes from the JICA with the remaining funds granted by the Egyptian government.

The state-of-the-art building, designed by Irish-based architectural firm Heneghan Peng, is located on a 50-hectare site two kms from the Giza pyramids and will be able to host up to 15,000 visitors per day.

Egypt hopes the new museum will help the country's ailing tourism industry which has been in steep decline thanks to terror attacks and political instability since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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