Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Tutankhamun’s treasures make a pit-stop in London before heading home for good

'Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah' opened today at London’s Saatchi gallery

A gold inlaid canopic coffinette of Tutankhamum is displayed at 'Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' at the Saatchi Gallery in London. EPA 
A gold inlaid canopic coffinette of Tutankhamum is displayed at 'Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' at the Saatchi Gallery in London. EPA 

It is a story that has captivated for a century. Tutankhamun’s tomb, and the astonishing objects that were buried alongside the boy-king to accompany him in the afterlife, have travelled the world, enticing audiences at every turn.

A visitor looks at a painted wooden model solar boat with throne and steering paddles in 'Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh'. EPA
A visitor looks at a painted wooden model solar boat with throne and steering paddles in 'Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh'. EPA

In the 1970s, a King Tut exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art attracted more than a million visitors. It is, to this day, the museum’s most highly attended show. And the allure has not waned over the decades. When Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah made a stop in Paris earlier this year, it attracted 1.4 million visitors, becoming the most popular exhibition in France’s history.

Now the treasures are on their way home, embarking on one final world tour before returning to Cairo to be permanently homed in the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2020. But first, a pit-stop in London.

A gilded wooden figure of Tutankhamun throwing a harpoon, dated 1336-1326 BC. EPA
A gilded wooden figure of Tutankhamun throwing a harpoon, dated 1336-1326 BC. EPA

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah opened today at London’s Saatchi gallery, where it will stay until May 3, 2020. There are more than 150 authentic pieces from the tomb on show - three times as many as have travelled for previous exhibitions. More than 60 of these items are travelling outside of Egypt for the first time.

These include a wooden ceremonial shield, linen gloves and a life-size statue of the king that stood guard at the entrance of his last resting place. The king’s most famous artefacts – the famed gold death mask and three gold coffins – are not on show as they are prohibited from leaving the country by Egyptian law.

Updated: November 2, 2019 12:55 PM

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