The Hungarian Balassi Institute in Cairo has held an exhibition titled “Illustrations of the Tale of the Doomed Prince … Ancient Egyptian Story”. The exhibition is sponsored by the Hungarian Embassy in Cairo, and displays selected works from the children’s painting contest of 2017 which was organised by the Hungarian Egyptian Friendship Society.
The Hungarian Cultural Counsellor in Cairo, Attila Szvétek explained that the Hungarian Egyptian Friendship Society is based in Budapest, and holds there cultural activities related to Egypt and Hungary. The contest, he said, was held in 2017, and the participants were Hungarian children who were asked to paint scenes from the ancient Egyptian legend of the The Doomed Prince, to use in a cartoon production of the legend.
The Doomed Prince is an ancient Egyptian story that dates back the 5th century BC. It tells the story of a prince born to an Egyptian king; and the gods prophesy that he would die at the hands of a dog, snake, or crocodile. The father decides to build an isolated castle in the mountains for the prince.
At one point the prince sees a man walking with a dog, and asks the king for a dog. The king agrees, seeing that it would make his son happy.
When the prince grows up he decides to leave the palace and travel to the Mesopotamia. There he finds that the King has offered anyone who could reach the princess’s window to marry her. The Egyptian prince succeeds in doing so and marries the princess. When he tells her of the prophecy regarding his death, she urges him to kill the dog but he refuses. So she stays next to him, and is able to kill a snake that would have bitten him. When the prince goes out for a walk with the dog, he gets to know that the dog would kill him. He flees the dog by rushing into a lake, only to find a crocodile there. But the crocodile does not kill him; instead, he asks for his help in fighting a giant. “At that point,” Mr Szvétek said, “the story ends, because the part of the papyrus that cites the story was burned”.
31 January 2018