The collection includes the tools used in laying the museum’s foundation stone in 1897 and signing the khedival decree to construct the museum.
These include the pickaxe, trowel, hammer, and wooden porringer embellished with silver decorative elements, as well as the feather pen and inkwell used by khedive Abbas Helmy II, who ruled Egypt from 1892 to 1914. The medallion that was specially fabricated to commemorate the event is also on display.
The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is the oldest archaeological museum in the Middle East, housing the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities in the world. The museum displays a collection spanning from the Predynastic Period to the Graeco-Roman Era.
The architect of the museum was selected through an international competition in 1895, which was the first of its kind, and was won by the French architect, Marcel Dourgnon. The museum was inaugurated in 1902 by khedive Abbas Helmy II, and has become a historic landmark in downtown Cairo and home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient masterpieces.
Among the museum’s unrivalled artefacts are the complete burial collections of Yuya and Thuya, Psusennes I, the treasures of Tanis, and the Narmer Palette commemorating the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under one king.
The museum also houses the splendid statues of the great kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, the builders of the Pyramids at the Giza Plateau. An extensive collection of papyri, sarcophagi and jewellery, among other objects, completes this uniquely expansive museum.