News / Arts & Entertainment

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

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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”