A fire erupted in the Conference Building, still under Construction, at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza on Sunday. Ten fire trucks and dozens of firefighters rushed to the scene to contain the flames. No casualties or damage to any ancient artifacts has been reported. First responders were able to extinguish the fire, which destroyed a large portion of wood scaffolding used by builders. Investigators are currently looking into the cause.

A new tourist attraction

The upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum sits about a mile from the famous Pyramids of Giza.

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Covering 490,000 square meters, this new site will soon be the home for thousands of ancient artifacts, including King Tutankhamun's golden mask. As of now, many of these objects are housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

With a price tag of over $795 million, the museum was scheduled to be partially opened in May 2018. A 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses II was placed at the entrance hall back in January. It is unclear whether or not the opening will be delayed due to unsafe conditions.

The curse of the museum

The foundation for the Grand Egyptian Museum was laid by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on January 5, 2002. However, it wasn't until August 2008 that design teams began submitting their ideas to the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Architects from 82 countries sent in their designs in hopes of being chosen for the job. Officials selected Heneghan Peng, an architecture firm headquartered in Ireland, for the task of building the new museum.

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The original estimated date of completion was in 2013. However, the downfall of the Mubarak administration, during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, caused significant delays. Once Mubarak stepped down, free elections were held, and Mohamed Morsi became the new Egyptian President.

After Morsi held the office for only a year, another revolution broke out in 2013. The Egyptian army initiated a successful coup d'etat led by military commander Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

After dissolving the Egyptian Constitution of 2012 and cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, construction of the museum was given the green light again.

Steadily moving artifacts from Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Alexandria, and Cairo, workers have been preparing tirelessly for the opening. Once the doors of the Grand Egyptian Museum are finally open to the public, patrons will be able to enjoy over 50,000 pieces of ancient history. The main attraction will be the world's first ever full tomb collection of King Tut.

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