You live long enough in this city and you’ll see things you couldn’t even imagine – like a 25-foot tall Anubis statue being towed around New York harbour, which is what happened yesterday morning. Anubis’s arrival heralds the one-month countdown for the exhibition, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, which opens April 23 at the Discovery Times Square Exposition in Manhattan, on the final leg of its journey round North America. Tickets for the show went on sale the same day.
The exhibition has already wowed Tutaholics in San Francisco, and exhibitors hope that Tut will cause the same sensation in New York as he did in 1979, when King Tut fever swept the city faster than looters in a blackout. King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs – a King Tut exhibition which is also touring North America – was a blockbuster in Toronto, and possibly surpassed the boy king’s previous visit in the 70’s. Tickets are now on sale for the exhibition’s Denver debut.
Arts and Exhibitions International, which is running the New York National Geographic exhibition, says the show has already attracted 7 million visitors in museums across the country, and has “spurred a new generation of ‘Tutmania‘.” Judging from the number of school children wearing King Tut head-dresses who turned out to see the 7-ton statue of Anubis as it was towed under such landmarks as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline, I’d say this has captured the imagination of the city’s youth already.
The exhibition includes material never before seen in New York. Fifty of the 130 objects are from Tutankhamuns tomb, only a handful of which were part of the 1979 exhibition, and an additional 80 objects come from the tombs of his ancestors and other notable ancient sites. In February 2010, Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypts Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced new discoveries about the lineage and cause of death of Tutankhamun based on DNA evidence. A new gallery exploring these revelations has been added to the New York presentation of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. The new material will focus on the mystery surrounding Tuts death and the recent findings from DNA testing that revealed further details about the boy kings family. The exhibit ‘Tutankhamun’s funeral’, featuring objects from Tut’s funeral cache found before Carter and Carnarvon’s discovery of the tomb, is also on at the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohswill be at New York’s Discovery Times Square Exposition, Thursday 1 April 2010 to Sunday 2nd January 2011. Stand by for a review from your doughty New York Correspondent. In the meantime, you can spot King Tut treasures near you, swot up on the key Tutankhamun facts and treasures in King Tut Virtual, and watch one of Heritage Key’s videos about the treasures of the boy king, such as the video in which Zahi Hawass talks about his favourite Tutankhamun treasures.