News / Arts & Entertainment

Exhibit Could Be King Tut's Last Tour, For a While

TEXT SIZE - +
Greg Flakus

As Egypt goes through fundamental political change, people fascinated by the country's ancient civilization worry that a new government might restrict loans to museums overseas. Among the most successful commercial ventures involving Egyptian antiquities have been traveling exhibits of treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamun, Tut as he is better known.

One of those exhibits is now drawing crowds at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Many people visiting the museum fear this could be their last chance to see such magnicient and important antiquities.

This exhibit is called “Tutankhamun, the Golden King and the Great Pharaohs.” It shows the splendor of ancient Egypt through art works and jewelry as well as ordinary objects, like this bed.

Visitors like Ayanna feel drawn to the world of these ancient people. “Three thousand years ago, and I am still able to see things that they touched and felt and interacted with. It's just amazing," she said.

King Tut rested in obscurity until British archaeologist Howard Carter found his tomb in 1922, more than three thousand years after his death.  But since then, he has become an international superstar, thanks in part to films of  the National Geographic Society, which was a sponsor of this exhibit.

Kathryn Keane, the society's Director of Traveling Exhibitions, says the world knows Tut because his tomb was mostly intact when Carter found it. “There are much, much larger tombs and burial sites and much more prominent pharaohs than King Tut, but all of those tombs had been looted or otherwise disturbed over time," she said.

Keane says the National Geographic Society has been following Tut ever since. "And new discoveries are constantly being made in Egypt, so we will be there as long as there are stories to tell," she said.

The stories in this exhibit include recent DNA samples from Tut's mummy, genetically linking him to Egyptian royals who preceded him, and tests showing an infection in a broken leg that might have caused his death, at the age of 19.

Egypt is building a huge new museum to house its ancient treasures, and some observers fear a new government may be less willing to allow treasures like these to leave the country again.  

Mark Lach is a vice president with Arts and Exhibitions International, the company that organized this exhibit.  He's more optimistic. “My sense is that Egypt will always want to share their history with the world and through exhibitions they will do that," he said.

This show is also raking in money for Egypt, something the country needs to maintain its treasures at home.  Abd El Hamid Marouf is an official with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. “We use the exhibitions everywhere in the world to gain the money for the conservation and preservation of our monuments," he said.

What exhibitions have also done is bring this ancient culture to the US heartland, where people might not otherwise have been able to see such treasures.

“Some of those cities... it has been spectacular, not only the reception of the exhibition, but how people have been affected and that has been a joy of ours to be a part of that," said Lach.

After it leaves Houston next April, the exhibition moves to its final US stop in Seattle.

You May Like

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.

Blogs