This fall, the Penn Museum embarks on its most significant renovation in its 136-year history, encompassing the Penn Museum Egypt Gallery renovation and the transformation of the Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries. These ambitious projects promise a unique experience among North American museums while honoring the museum’s rich history of renovations.
The Penn Museum has witnessed a decade-long transformation, and this endeavor marks the pinnacle of that journey. To facilitate the construction project, the current Egypt Gallery, open since 1926, will temporarily close on November 6, 2023, ensuring the safety of all.
For over a century, University of Pennsylvania archaeologists have conducted extensive excavations in Egypt and Nubia. They have amassed a collection of about 50,000 Egyptian and Nubian artifacts, spanning from 4,000 BCE through the 7th Century. This collection ranks among the largest in the United States.
Cost Penn Museum’s Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries renovation
The Penn Museum’s $50 million renovation of the Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries will occur in two phases. The first will update the main level galleries, immersing visitors in Ancient Egypt’s life and afterlife. Central to this is the limestone tomb chapel of Kaipure, dating back to 2,300 BCE, a treasure not seen in its entirety for over 30 years.
Targeting an opening in late 2026, these galleries will focus on Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. With the central gallery highlighting the Kaipure tomb chapel, where priests once conducted sacred funerary rituals.
Simultaneously, the Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries transformation will introduce visitors to the divine world of gods, the grandeur of kings, and the legacies of pharaohs. The centerpiece is the awe-inspiring 3,000-year-old palace of Pharaoh Merenptah. Will feature monumental 30-foot-tall columns, revealed in their full majesty for the first time since their excavation over a century ago. These galleries are expected to be completed by late 2028, enriching the cultural tapestry of the Penn Museum.
This ambitious renovation project exemplifies the institution’s dedication to preserving and presenting the treasures of Ancient Egypt and Nubia. Ensuring their enduring impact on generations to come. The Penn Museum Egypt Gallery renovation and the Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries transformation will undoubtedly redefine the museum experience and contribute significantly to the world of archaeology.