The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. The following information pertains to the state of the museum prior to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
The museum's Royal Mummy Room, containing 27 royal mummies from Pharaonic times, was closed 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. Today, there are about 9 mummies displayed. One of them is the newly discovered mummy of Queen Hatshepsut.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world's largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, and many treasures of King Tutankhamen. The Egyptian government established the museum, built in 1835 near the Ezbekeyah Garden.
The museum soon moved to Boulaq in 1858 because the original building was getting to be too small to hold all of the artifacts. In 1855, shortly after the artifacts were moved, Archduke Maximilian of Austria was given all of the artifacts. He hired a French architect to design and construct a new museum for the antiquities. The new building was to be constructed on the bank of the Nile River in Boulaq.
In 1878, after the museum has been completed for some time, it suffered some irreversible damage; a flood of the Nile River caused the antiquities to be relocated to another museum, in Giza. The artifacts remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square.
During the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the museum was broken into, and two mummies were reportedly destroyed. Several artifacts were also shown to have been damaged. There are two main floors in the museum, the ground floor and the first floor. On the ground floor there is an extensive collection of papyrus and coins used in the Ancient world. The numerous pieces of papyrus are generally small fragments, due to their decay over the past two millennia.