When visitors arrive at the Grand Egyptian Museum—to open near the Giza pyramids in 2018—they'll be greeted by a 4-ton statue of King Amenhotep seated beside the Egyptian god Ra. But first, the 3,500-year-old pink granite statue will be restored, having just traveled 400 miles from Luxor, reports NBC News. Carefully secured by the Tourism and Antiquities Police, the statue rediscovered in southern Egypt in 2009 was one of 780 Egyptian artifacts to arrive at the museum recently in special humidity-controlled trucks, per Ahram Online. They'll become part of a collection that will number 50,000 pieces, more than half of which have never been seen by the public before.
Clay pots, painted sarcophagi, and limestone blocks inscribed with hierogylphics are just some of the items hand-picked by General Director Tarek Tawfiq, per Ahram Online. Every piece will be arranged in its original context. "You will be transferred to ancient Egypt and you will have an enjoyable experience through real authentic pieces," Tawfiq says. The Grand Staircase alone will be a spectacle. It will showcase 100 artifacts representing kingship, including the statue of King Amenhotep, a granite column from the temple of King Sahure in Saqqara, and two black granite statues of the lioness war deity Sekhmet from Luxor, reports Ahram Online. (Egypt is now celebrating this incredible discovery.)