Tutankhamun Exhibition

Following its record breaking stint in Paris, Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah will be looking to do the same thing here when it opens at the Saatchi Gallery in November. Peter Gray reports.

If you thought that bling was a modern day invention then you’d do well to pop along to this forthcoming exhibition. That’s because the Saatchi Gallery will be literally covered in the stuff when their new Tutankhamun exhibition opens. 

Featuring 150 objects from the boy King’s tomb, the exhibition will shine a light on the grandeur of the pharaoh’s burial, and the belief system that underpinned such a lavish display of wealth.

The story of Tutankhamun has fascinated history lovers ever since the British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the king’s intact tomb during his journey to Egypt in 19222.

The discovery led to a dramatic increase in understanding about the period, and a reawakening in interest in the lives of the pharoahs. The tomb contained a collection of grave riches of quite unparralleled quality. Indeed, Carter spent a great deal of the next few years cataloguing his find, before most were moved to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo for safekeeping.

The Saatchi’s new exhibition brings the collection together for the first time. Indeed, 60 of the items in the collection – items which have never been seen outside of Egypt before – will return to the country for good once the world tour is over.

However, if you thought that Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh was merely about showing off the boy king’s ostentatious wealth, then you’d be wrong. The exhibition has a far greater purpose, you see. Proceeds from the 10-country tour will be used to fund the building of a new museum in which to house the collection. Titled the Grand Egyptian Museum, the venue will be set over 650,000 in Giza.

Thankfully, given the tour’s financial importance, Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh has been an unqualified success. The Paris leg of the boy king’s tour broke local records for attendance at an exhibition, and the Saatchi gallery are expecting record numbers to attend the exhibition once it opens in London. 

Tutankhamun, otherwise known as King Tut, became pharaoh when he was just nine. He is known for having restored Egypt’s traditional faith after a period of upheaval under his father, Akhenaten. He is also noted for having presided over the transfer of the Royal Court back to Thebes. However, even allowing for these accomplishments, the name of Tutankhamun all but dissapeared from history after his death. It was only when a young British explorer uncovered his tomb in the Valley of the Kings thousands of years later, that the world began to remember Tutankhamun.

The Tutankhamen: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition is currently closed due to the Coronavirus Crisis. More information can be found here.

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-London's Best Events-
What: new exhibition
When: tbc
Where: Saatchi Gallery