Julie M. · Photos by
My B. · Published on September 20th, 2019 at 07:29 p.m.
Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh's Treasure is the name of the magnificent exhibition currently on show at the Grande Halle de la Villette from March 23 to September 22, 2019. We go back in time to discover the cursed Pharaoh. The exhibition, which has become the most visited in Paris history, has been given new opening hours to welcome even more visitors.
Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh's treasure, is the name of theexhibition installed untilSeptember 22, 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette.
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Organized by the Ministry of Egyptian Antiquities and, of course, with the support of the Musée du Louvre, this immersive exhibition brings together over 150 original objects taken directly from Tutankhamun's tomb.
The exhibition is an invitation to travel and discover. The mere mention of this Pharaoh's surname plunges us into a desert of sand and conjures up images of pyramids, sarcophagi, mummies and hidden treasures.
Indeed, if the reign of this Pharaoh was short and inglorious, the mystery that surrounds his name comes from the discovery of his tomb and the fabulous treasure it conceals, by Britisharchaeologist Howard Carter on November 4, 1922. Carter described his discovery in the following terms: "As my eyes became accustomed to the light, the details of the room slowly emerged from the gloom, strange animals, statues and gold, everywhere the glitter of gold."
Almost 100 years after the discovery of this tomb, Paris is devoting an exhibition to Tutankhamun. Over 150 pieces are on display, including 60 objects leaving Egypt for the first time. Among them: coffins and sarcophagi adorned with precious stones such as lapis lazuli, vases decorated with hieroglyphics and some of the toys and souvenirs that accompanied the child pharaoh during his burial.
For the ancient Egyptians, death was considered the beginning of a new life, but this rebirth was only possible if the body of the deceased was preserved with appropriate rites and surrounded byfunerary objects to accompany it on this perilous journey. Whatever the case, these objects, on display in Paris from March 23 to September 15, 2019, continue to perpetuate the memory of the pharaoh and his immortality.
Among the pieces to be discovered are :
- Gilded wooden naos featuring scenes of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun
One of the most fascinating objects unearthed in Tutankhamun's tomb, this small gilded wooden naos bears a decoration depicting the intimacy of the royal couple formed by Tutankhamun and his wife.
These seemingly domestic themes in fact emphasize Queen Ankhesenamon's role towards her husband, in particular her "life-giving" action, both here below (with allusions to the coronation) and in the afterlife.
- Miniature canopic coffin bearing the effigy of Tutankhamen
During mummification, the viscera were treated separately from the body. They were embalmed, anointed with ointments and resins, then wrapped in linen strips before being placed in "canopic" containers. There were four canopic vessels, most often vases or, as in Tutankhamun's case, miniature coffins. They were placed in a calcite chest, each of the cavities intended for the king's canopic coffins being closed by a lid bearing Tutankhamun's effigy.
The miniature coffin shown here was reserved for the liver, an organ under the protection of the goddess Isis and an anthropomorphic genie named Amset.
- Statue of the king standing guard
This spectacular life-size ka statue of Tutankhamun marks his passage from the dark night of the afterlife to his rebirth at dawn. The black skin symbolizes the fertility of the Nile and its eternal promise of resurrection. Gold, referring to the sun and the flesh of the gods, represents Tutankhamun's divinity. The guardian's royal nemes headdress represents Ra-Khepri, the sun god, at dawn. Another statue, almost identical to this one, was wearing a khat, the symbol of night. These two statues guarded the king's tomb and are among the best and most complete examples of this type of object found to date.
This statue leaves Egypt for the first time.
- Funerary bed in gilded wood
This ceremonial bed in ebony covered with gold leaf was probably built for Tutankhamun's funeral. To ensure the pharaoh's safety and ward off evil forces determined to harm him, divine figures are carved on the foot of the bed: Bes, the god protector of newborns, and Taouret, the hippopotamus goddess, watch over the king's rest.
According to Egyptian beliefs, the dead were merely asleep. When they were reborn, they awoke. For the living, sleep was a state akin to death. The gods spoke to the sleepers, and their nightmares were proof of their vulnerability to the supernatural forces of evil. Waking up every day was a form of rebirth.
A temporary exhibition
that we hope will complement the famous Egyptian gallery
at the Musée du Louvre
to learn even more about the history of our ancestors
and of humanity in general.
See you at the Grande Halle de La Villette.