Washington Museum to Open Largest Egypt Exhibit
The largest collection of antiquities Egypt has ever sent to the United States--including a life-size reconstruction of the burial chamber of the pharaoh known as “the Napoleon of Egypt"--will go on display at the National Gallery of Art on June 30.
The exhibit, called “The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt,” will feature 115 artifacts.The exhibit will tour the U.S. for five years. After four months it will travel to Boston, New Orleans, Denver and Houston.
The personality at the heart of the exhibit is Pharaoh Thutmose III, a warrior and king who ruled Egypt from about 1479 to 1425 B.C. and was a central figure in what is known as the New Kingdom, one of Egypt’s golden ages.
Thutmose III’s record of military victories helped solidify his kingdom, and he also initiated a broad and aggressive building campaign.
One of his landmark projects was a shrine built within the confines of the famous Temple of Karnak.
The exhibition was organized by Erik Hornung, professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
The artifacts are drawn mainly from the excavated possessions of pharaohs and royals and include gold figurines representing the gods, gold funerary masks, fragments of an obelisk and sculpture, such as the sphinx of Thutmose III.
The negotiations for the show started a year and a half ago, according to officials. But the gallery decided to withhold the announcement until only four weeks before the opening--an unusually short window for any major show--because arrangements were not complete until a few weeks ago.