Landscapers at work on the grounds at the Grand Egyptian Museum, under construction before the Pyramids in Giza.
AP Photo/Amr Nabil
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On the Giza Plateau outside Cairo, thousands of Egyptians are laboring in the shadow of the pyramids to erect a monument worthy of the pharaohs. The Grand Egyptian Museum has been under construction for well over a decade and is intended to showcase Egypt's ancient treasures while drawing tourists to help fund its future development.The museum is a series of towering concrete halls that will eventually hold some 50,000 artifacts, including the famed mask of Tutankhamen -- popularly known as King Tut -- and other treasures currently housed in the century-old Egyptian museum in Cairo's congested Tahrir Square. The hope is that tourists will stay awhile and provide the foreign currency Egypt needs to buttress its economy.Egypt's pharaonic heritage remains a major draw, however, and Tawfik expects the museum to attract 8 million people a year once it opens.An estimated 8 million tourists will have visited Egypt in 2018, an increase from previous years but well below a peak of 14.7 million before the 2011 uprising.
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