Inside new Grand Egyptian Museum where 'cursed' body of King Tut is being moved

WE'VE been given an early look inside the mammoth new Grand Egyptian Museum where the 'cursed' body of Tutankhamun is set to be moved.

The $1.3billion (£1billion) structure will be the world's biggest archaeological museum and will host the largest collection of King Tut's artefacts ever displayed.

Critics of GEM have called it a vanity project and complained that the vast amount of money spent could have been invested in other areas of Egypt.

There are also those who think Tutankhamun should not be taken to the museum and instead remain in the Valley of the Kings where he has rested for over 3,300 years.

However, Egyptian ministers hope the project, which is said to be 95% complete, will actually boost tourism and the money that brings to Egypt.

GEM, which is located in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo, is expected to attract around five million visitors a year.

The completion date for the Grand Egyptian Museum has already been pushed back several times but officials told us they're hoping to officially launch in October 2020.

Construction started way back in 2012 and so far it looks like no expense has been spared.

When you walk in you're struck by how vast and airy the building actually is.

An impressive 87 statues of pharaohs and gods are set to line the staircase.

Tutankhamun will have numerous galleries dedicated to him and over 5,000 of his artefacts.

Many of the priceless antiquities are currently being restored in labs around the GEM complex.

These include over 100 walking sticks taken from the tomb of the boy king, many chariots and his gleaming golden coffin.

Other items, such as the famed Tutankhamun death mask, will be taken from the current Egyptian Museum.

Lots of ancient Egyptian artefacts located around the world will find a new home at GEM.

One point of contention in all this is that the actual body of Tutankhamun is set to be moved to the museum in May despite never leaving his Luxor Valley of the Kings tomb.

Many people in Luxor are upset about this prospect, not least because Tutankhamun's tomb is a big tourism draw for the area.

There are also those who believe that the 'curse of the pharaohs' will be set upon anyone who disturbs the resting place of an ancient Egyptian King or Queen.

When asked about the curse, Dr Eltayeb Abbas, director of archaeological affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum, told us: "I know there are cursed texts and the Egyptians really believed in the power of the word.

"So they were thinking that by reciting a text that would let things become real.

"But for us I wouldn't say so. I am a villager coming from the west bank [of Luxor] and my family and all the people are believing in the existence of a curse.

"So I don't have to believe but I have to respect the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and the existence of a curse."

Tickets for the museum are expected to cost around 400 Egyptian Pounds, which is about £20 or $25.

The sheer scale of the building means you'll probably be unlikely to see the whole thing in a day though so return visits are expected.

GEM will also be home to restaurants, gift shops and a 3D cinema.

If you can't wait until October to see Tutankhamun's burial treasures then a lot of them are currently on display at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Tutankhamun: Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh presented by Viking Cruises is at the Saatchi Gallery until May 3. Tickets are on sale at

Who was King Tutankhamun?

Here's everything you need to know

  • King Tutankhamun is the most famous of Egypt's ancient pharaohs
  • He ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago from 1332 to 1323 BC
  • Tut is known as the "boy king" as he was just 10 years old when he took the thrown
  • When he became the king he married his half-sister Ankhesenpaaten. They had two daughters together but both were stillborn
  • Tut died aged just 19 under mysterious circumstances
  • Some believe that he was assassinated but most think his death was an accident, likely the result of an infected leg following a nasty break
  • The pharaoh is also famous for the supposed curse that haunts his tomb
  • After the tomb's discovery in 1922, archaeologists, and even their family members, died from horrible illnesses or in strange accidents – and some say the deaths weren't a coincidence

In other archaeology news, over 80 skeletons have been found in unusual ancient clay coffins in Egypt.

A lost tomb containing 72 ancient skeletons from an extinct Canary Islands civilisation has been found by drone after 1,000 years.

And, from headless vikings to ‘screaming’ mummies, here are some of the most gruesome ancient corpses ever found.

What are your thoughts on the 'curse of the pharaohs'? Let us know in the comments…

Source: Read Full Article