Art Travel in Cairo: the old Egyptian museum


It’s an exciting day today because this is the day that the mummies are to be moved to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Fustat, near old Cairo. The new building will have a special research centre and showcase for the Pharaonic mummies, including Hatshepsut and Ramses II.

This seemed like a good opportunity to share with you my visit to the old Egyptian museum, the one in Tahrir Square which I found absolutely delightful. I’d never been before becuase it was so crowded I didn’t feel able to face the huge busloads of tourists. But on this trip, because of the corona virus, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as it usually is because there were no tour groups; the few people that were there all independent travelers like me and most of them were Egyptian. I had whole galleries to myself and the people I did meet were super friendly and it was extremely enjoyable

The building is historic and quite wonderful and honestly was one of most atmospheric museum visits I’ve visited in my life. I did think about getting a guide but then I thought the best thing would be to just wander through the museum and soak up not only the atmosphere. So I walked through its grand halls in silence, appreciating everything from the exhibits to the magnificent architecture.

Built in 1901 by the Italian construction company, Garozzo-Zaffarani, to a design by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, it is one of the largest museums in the world and as of today houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities.

The museum starts with the very earliest times of the old Kingdom, and goes up to the Greco-Roman era. After that, you’d need to visit the Coptic Museum to see the late Roman Coptic era.

If and when you go to Egypt, I hope you will visit the old Egyptian Museum. Even if the collection of artifacts will be spread over the three – the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, the Museumof Egyptian Civilisaiton and this one – the gorgeous pink building on Tahrir Square will always be a destination in its own right.

the well known golden mask of Tutankhamun