The fourth International Tutankhamun Conference opened in Cairo yesterday, Saturday 5 May, under the title “Tutankhamun: Weapons and Statues.” Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani opened the three-day conference which was organised by the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), and headed by Fayza Heikal, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. Participating in the conference are curators of museums in Europe, as well as Egyptologists from Egypt, Austria, Germany, Italy, Norway and the US.
The conference discusses latest research concerning Tutankhamun, his weapons and statues, restoration of his shields, and the safe transport of his military chariots to the new GEM. A short documentary on the GEM was screened during the opening session.
Dr Anani gave a word about the GEM which he said will be partly opened late in 2018. He explained that the first opening of the museum will include the galleries housing Tutankhamun’s collection. “So far,” he said, “70 per cent of the museum buildings have been completed, and a collection of 43,257 pieces of antiquity moved to the GEM, in addition to 4,549 objects from the 5,000-piece Tutankhamun collection.”
The GEM, Dr Anani explained, will not merely act as a museum proper, but will include storage facilities, laboratories, and conference halls, which will help make it a well-equipped, world-class cultural and research hub.
Renowned Egyptologist and former chief of antiquities Zahi Hawwas gave a lecture about the young Egyptian king and the discovery of his tomb. He talked about recent scientific research which attempts to trace his lineage and the cause of his premature death.
King Tutankhamun’s reign ran from around 1332 – 1323BC. The discovery of his intact, undisturbed tomb in 1922 by Briton Howard Carter remains one of the most sensational archaeological discoveries of all time.
6 May 2018