The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display, with many more hundreds of thousands in its basement storerooms.
The museum is an outgrowth of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, established by the Egyptian government in 1835, in an attempt to limit the looting of antiquities from sites, and protect artifacts. Its Boulaq museum opened in 1858 with a collection assembled by Auguste Mariette, the French archaeologist retained by Isma'il Pasha. After residing in an annex of the palace of Isma'il Pasha in Giza from 1880, the museum moved to its present location, a neoclassical structure on Tahrir Square in Cairo's city centre, in 1900 under Gaston Maspero.