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 In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.

 

Blogs

African Music Treasures