King Tutankhamun exhibition: from LA to Paris

10-09-2018 03:50 PM

Lillian Nabil

The exhibition “King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” currently showing in Los Angeles in the US and running till 6 January 2019, will then move to La Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris where it will run from 18 March 2019 to 30 September 2019. The decision for the move has been approved by Egypt’s Cabinet.

According to the Cabinet, the exhibition aims at promoting closer cultural ties between Egypt and the countries in which the exhibits would be on display, also to boost international tourism in Egypt.

Presented by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, Exhibitions International, and IMG, the immersive exhibition displays 166 real artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb. The ten-city seven-year international exhibition tour debuted in Los Angeles on 24 March 2018, after which it moves to Paris, then on to London, Washington DC, Sydney, Seoul, Philadelphia, Chicago, Tokyo, and Osaka.

The world tour is being held to celebrate 100 year’s since the discovery of the intact tomb of the Pharaoh by the British Howard Carter in Luxor’s West Bank in November 1922. The discovery was for years arguably the most exciting event on the antiquity scene.

The exhibition’s curated collection represents the largest assembly of artefacts and gold from Tutankhamun’s tomb ever on public display outside Egypt, which has historically been limited to approximately 50 items. On display are many items the Boy King himself used in life and was believed to need in death, including: golden jewelry, elaborate carvings, sculptures, and ritual antiquities. Forty percent of these artifacts have left Egypt for the first and last time before returning for permanent display at the new Grand Egyptian Museum scheduled for opening in 2019.

The traveling exhibition has stirred controversy in Egypt, with many seeing the expected revenue of USD50 million as a paltry sum for such a priceless, magnificent collection. There were also concerns that, at USD600 million, the collection was not properly insured or was liable to damage or theft. However, this is not the first time Egypt sends antiquity pieces for display outside the country, and the Cabinet has insisted that no price can be put to the cultural bonding the exhibition brings.

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