pharaoh Amenhotep III
A huge statue of pharaoh Amenhotep III on display at Egypt's temple city of Luxor. About 50,000 ancient artefacts, including a 3,500-year-old giant statue of Amenhotep, will be housed at a new museum in Cairo in 2018Getty Images

About 800 artefacts have been moved to Cairo for a new museum that is being built in the Egyptian capital. The artefacts were moved from the ancient pharaonic city of Luxor.

The relics will go on display at the Grand Egyptian Museum when it opens in 2018. Among the artefacts is a four-ton statue of King Amenhotep seated next to Egyptian sun god Ra. The pink granite sculpture is 3,500 years old.

The huge statue, which was discovered in 2009 in southern Egypt, was carried over 640km in special air bags on a heavy truck along with 780 other artefacts, NBC News reported.

According to Egyptian officials, the movement of such heavy artefacts to Cairo is an expensive undertaking but it will help create a world-class museum and a centre to study ancient Egypt.

"You will be transferred to ancient Egypt and you will have an enjoyable experience through real authentic pieces," the museum's general director Tarek Tawfiq said.

A total of 50,000 pieces will be housed at the Grand Egyptian Museum — 30,000 of which have never been put on public display. The museum will be able to host up to 15,000 visitors per day.

From opening tombs of pharaohs to building museums, Egypt is all up to boost tourism — a critical contributor to the country's GDP, employment, foreign currency earnings and investment. Tombs of three nobles were opened to the public for the first time in Luxor in November 2015. This was followed by the opening of a whale museum at the Valley of the Whales (Wadi Al-Hitan) in Fayoum, about 150km south-west of Cairo.