The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, with its deep-rose, neo-classical façade, has stood as one of the city's most familiar landmarks since its construction in 1902. It is home to 150,000 of the nation's most important artefacts from a long and unique span of Egypt's history.
Over the last two centuries, however, the rapidly increasing numbers of discoveries resulting from excavations all over the country have overwhelmed the museum's galleries. The huge size of the ancient Egyptian collection means that thousands of pieces remain in the museum storerooms.
Within the framework of the drive by the Ministry of Culture and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) to preserve Egypt's priceless treasures, both stored and newly-discovered, to create the best environment in which to display them, and to release the pressure on some overstuffed provincial museums, the Egyptian Museum was placed at the top of the list. The launch of the construction scheme of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau has also spurred a sprucing up of the museum and its renovation plan.
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