Egypt approves Pharaonic exhibition in 5 US, European cities

Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus around the world, Egypt is trying to revive the tourism sector by planning to take remarkable archaeological pieces on a tour around five prominent cities in Europe and the United States.

al-monitor A view of the golden sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun as it lies for restoration at the lab of the newly built Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, April 13, 2020.  Photo by Khaeld Desouki/AFP via Getty Images.

Jan 11, 2021

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has approved a foreign exhibition tour titled "Ramses and the Pharaohs Gold” from November 2021 until February 2025. The exhibition will be held in five prominent cities abroad, three of which are in the United States.

The exhibit’s collection will be showcased at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, The Saunders Castle at Park Plaza in Boston, an exhibition center in London and La Villette Hall in Paris.

A similar exhibition was held at Germany’s Volklinger Hutte Museum from May 2019 until April 2020.

From March 23 to Sept. 22, 2019, La Villette Hall in Paris held an exhibition titled "Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh." The exhibition showcased more than 150 pieces and it welcomed 1.42 million visitors, breaking the attendance record for an exhibition in France.

The head of the museums department at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Moemen Othaman, told Al-Monitor, “International exhibitions help market the Egyptian cultural product, spread the Egyptian culture and history, [and] reap financial benefits from touring this exhibition in each city and selling archaeological reproductions.”

Othman said, “The exhibition collection will include some new archaeological pieces different from the previous ones, as some of the old collection will be added to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Grand Egyptian Museum.”

He added, “The exhibition will last for almost six months in each city and one or two months for preparations to transport from one city to another.”

Ali Abu-dashish, an Egyptian antiquities expert, told Al-Monitor, “The exhibition will give many people a chance to get to know more about the Pharaonic history without visiting Egypt. This may attract more tourists to visit Egypt.”

The ancient Egyptian Pharaohs believed that using gold preserved survival, eternity and immortality and gold was considered the skin of the gods. Also, it was believed that the Pharaohs, as the sons of god, would finally transform to gold so they could become immortal.

The exhibition will display 170 unique archaeological pieces including a pure golden statue of Khafre, from the Old Kingdom (2522-2496 BC), which is the oldest known statue of the king; a ring from the 18th Dynasty (1350-1333 BC) with the image of Queen Nefertiti inscribed on it; and the statue of Hathor, the goddess symbolizing love, beauty, joy, dance and musical arts according to the Pharaonic belief.

Another item that will be part of the exhibit is a necklace made of gold and rough beads, dating back to 1550 BC, and considered a symbol of protection or luck. The necklace shows how skillful the ancient Egyptians were.

In addition, a necklace from the era of Ramses VI (1140-1132 BC) will be exhibited. It is made of two rows of gold beads, beads and lapis lazuli with a golden hanging eagle at the end. According to an ancient Pharaonic belief, this necklace guarantees the protection of the gods.

The collection also includes a thousand-year-old perfume bottle and many gold coins.

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