CAIRO — In 1992, the Egyptian government announced the launch of a project to establish the Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids of Giza, in cooperation with the Belgian BESIX Group. The museum would cover a surface area of 117 acres, at an estimated cost of $550 million and a capacity to hold 100,000 archaeological pieces, making it one of the most prestigious museums in the world.
It was to be an unparalleled archaeological site that would send a message to the world that Egyptians value construction, civilization and heritage, instead of supporting destruction. The museum would house 100,000 pieces from Pharaonic, Greek and Roman eras, and it would expand the Egyptian job market by creating real employment opportunities for the youth and by reviving the tourist industry. With these words, the government launched its marketing campaign for the project in early 1992.