The GEM opening

edited July 2021 in Egypt

Sorry, I keep checking but no news yet about the GEM grand opening.

Nothing new to report about the recent discovery of the "Golden City" on the west bank across the Nile from Luxor, either.

The biggest news is Egypt made a second successful test of the vehicle and rig that will be used to transfer the Kufu solar boat from the boat museum building adjacent to his pyramid to the GEM. The article I found included a photo of the rig.

Also, they have removed all pieces of the second 4,700-year-old wooden solar boat which were wrapped and stacked in 13 layers that have remained buried in a hand-cut stone pit near the first boat pit, since both were discovered in 1954. A survey done in 1987 with remote camera indicated insects had invaded the wooden parts and there was possible water damage during the building of the museum for the first boat, so they decided to dig it up and remove it also. They started in 2009 but serious work didn't begin until 2017 to clean, stabilize, carefully remove and catalogue nearly 1,700 separate fragile pieces and transfer them to the GEM restoration labs for further work. Each piece was so fragile they had to stabilize it in a temporary lab built over the pit before they could remove it. Conservators painstakingly cleaned each individual piece, filled in gaps with conservation materials, and re-joined broken fragments. The work is usually slow, it takes roughly one month to stabilize a 20m plank of wood for transport to the GEM. They plan to reassemble and display it in the GEM along with the first boat. I think it would be interesting to have first boat displayed in its fully assembled state like before, yet show the different stages of the discovery, excavation and reassembly of the second boat. I haven't read it anywhere, but I hope and suspect they will dismantle and remove the ugly old solar boat museum building.

Boat Pit:

Trailers and rig delivered:

Test run:

First boat in old museum:


  • It definitely would be interesting to see the reconstruction pictures. I did see this funerary ship some years ago and find it fascinating. I recall in Israel there was a museum with the "Jesus boat" dug out of the Sea of Galilee with a whole bunch of photographs showing the dig/reconstruction. It was quite interesting.

  • milmil
    edited July 2021

    Thanks AlanS.
    I still have 70 days to go...... maybe a miracle happens and Tauck can drive by the Museum :))) :)))) at least we can say we drove the parking lot.

  • GEM opening scheduled for one week after AlanS's tour concludes, whenever that is! :D

    Obviously, just kidding.

  • edited October 2021

    Well...It's official. I will not see the GEM during my December JE tour. GEM opening estimated to open Summer 2022. I'm betting it will open in August timeframe to celebrate the 100th anniversary discovery of King Tut's tomb by Howard Carter. AlanS..unfortunately, you may not see it either :(

  • This is also an interesting article dated 09/13/2021. I'm sure there will be a grand festival; however, It will most likely be in 2022 as well.

  • edited October 2021

    7:32PM edited 7:36PM
    Well...It's official. I will not see the GEM during my December JE tour. GEM opening estimated to open Summer 2022.

    Don't give up hope yet!!

    Despite what it looks like, the site at your first link is NOT the official GEM website. As it says on its home page, it is, "An independent information resource about the new GEM of Egypt." Let's hope it is off-base, but you never know. The article about the festival, opera, opening is more promising.

    I predicted a few years ago, the opening could easily slip and if so, they might take advantage of the centenary of the discovery of Tut's Tomb, which occurred on November 4, 1922. And let's not forget travel writer, TV host, etc. Peter Greenberg said he was told by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities (Khaled el-Anany) that the GEM would be open in February 2022 (they don't want to open it too much in advance of my visit- just enough time to get the kinks out! :D:D )

    The Government/Museum is working on a new website, but here is the link to the "official GEM website" It is pretty sad and doesn't seem to have been updated since 2016! :/ The Facebook page isn't much better- just contains meeting announcements.

    I just did a search of the usual sources and found no new info on the opening of the GEM. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!

  • I will be there in Nov 2022 and I hope it's open at that time. Bet you didn't know mañana is an Arabic word, too :)

  • It is a subset of Inshallah.

  • Don’t forget, sometimes an official opening may be sometime after the actual opening of an attraction, so don’t give up hope!

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