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Egyptian Museum

From Academic Kids

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Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to the most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display, with many more hundreds of thousands in its basement storerooms.

The museum is an outgrowth of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, established by the Egyptian government in 1835, in an attempt to limit the looting of antiquities sites and artefacts. Its museum opened in 1858 with a collection assembled by Auguste Mariette, the French archaeologist retained by Isma'il Pasha. After residing in an annex of the palace of Ismail Pasha in Giza from 1880, the museum moved to its present location, a neoclassical structure on Tahrir Square in Cairo's city centre, in 1900.

The highlight of the collection is often considered to be the tomb artefacts of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, whose almost intact tomb Howard Carter found in the Valley of the Kings in 1923.

The museum's Royal Mummy Room, containing 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times, was closed down on the orders of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. It was reopened, with a slightly curtailed display of New Kingdom kings and queens, in 1985.

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