Jewels of the Nile: 11 awesome Egyptian museums

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CNN  — 

For much of the 20th century, the Egyptian Museum in the center of Cairo was the gold standard for collections along the Nile.

Mainly because among the many nuggets inside were the glimmering death mask of Tutankhamun and all the other relics discovered in the boy king’s tomb by archeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

But Egypt has always had far more treasures than a single museum could display.

It’s only in recent decades that a flurry of museum-building up and down the Nile has allowed the Middle Eastern nation to showcase more of its artistic and cultural heritage than ever before.

Slowly but surely, the Ministry of Antiquities is relocating many of the Egyptian Museum’s priceless relics from crowded downtown Cairo to a sprawling new suburban campus called the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

Located in Giza, the GEM will display the entire King Tut collection for the first time and connect to the nearby pyramids via a landscaped causeway spangled with immense statues from Egypt’s ancient past.

In southern Egypt, the Nubian Museum in Aswan, housed inside a stunning sand-colored structure that blends perfectly into the surrounding Sahara, won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2001.

Along the Mediterranean shore, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina houses six specialized libraries and four separate museums inside a futuristic building whose design was inspired by the significance of the rising sun during ancient Egyptian times.