King Tut Gave His Life for Tourism

Categories: Arts


This morning, the Dallas Museum of Art confirmed what everyone already knew: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs is returning to the DMA ... in, oh, a year from now. DMA members can't even buy tickets till April 2008; non-members, July '08. But Dallas is the first city to get the encore presentation: Says Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, "Dallas is a perfect place for King Tut," which is odd, since he was born in Arizona till he moved to Babylonia, King Tut. The full release is after the jump. --Robert Wilonsky

‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ to return TO the United States FOR ENCORE TOUR BEGINNING FALL 2008

Dallas Museum of Art to Premiere Three-City Engagement

DALLAS (October 22, 2007)—“Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” the exhibition that drew nearly 4 million visitors during its two-year, four-city tour, will return to the United States for a three-city encore tour. Following the success of the first tour, which broke records at each of the four museums it visited in the United States from June 2005 through September 2007, the exhibition will return from its current London engagement to open at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) in October 2008, followed by visits to two yet to be named museums.

When the exhibition opened in Los Angeles in 2005, it marked the first time in more than 25 years that treasures from King Tut’s tomb were shown in the United States. The Dallas engagement marks the first time these artifacts will be seen in the Southwest region. The current exhibition includes an extensive array of more than 130 extraordinary artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun and other ancient Egyptian sites. The return of the exhibition to the United States will include a selection of artifacts that are new to the exhibit and have never before been seen outside of Egypt.

"Dallas is a perfect place for King Tut," said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. “I want everyone in Texas to know that the boy king is coming to town, and I personally invite everyone to see this great exhibition so that a new generation of people will experience the history and magic of the boy king.”

The exhibition is organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor of the encore tour and American Airlines, the world's largest airline, will be the official airline of the exhibition.

“We are honored to be the first institution to host the encore tour of ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,’” stated John R. Lane, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the Southwest region’s largest art museums, and as today’s announcement dramatically demonstrates, one which prides itself on presenting exhibitions of international significance. The DMA is extremely pleased to be able to share these exceptional works of ancient Egyptian art with the community we serve and to further reinforce the Dallas Arts District as an important destination for visitors seeking the best in cultural experiences.”

Proceeds generated from the world tour are being used to help preserve Egypt’s treasures, including the construction of a new museum in Cairo where antiquities will be housed.

“Egypt’s ancient treasures are among the world’s greatest cultural legacies, and we’re delighted that we are able to bring this exhibition back to the U.S. so that more people will have an opportunity to view some of the most important artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb and other ancient Egyptian sites,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for mission programs.

Support from presenting sponsor Northern Trust is helping make the exhibition’s return possible.

“Northern Trust is proud to share this fascinating cultural and educational experience, beginning with the Dallas art community, as we further the company’s commitment to serving the communities in which we live and work,” said William A. Osborn, Chairman and Chief Executive, Northern Trust Corporation. “We look forward to the continued success of the tour and anticipate that this exhibit will provide a wonderful opportunity for all members of the Dallas community to enjoy this truly unique exploration into the history of Tutankhamun.”

“American Airlines is thrilled to have a role in bringing an exhibit of this magnitude to the Dallas Museum of Art,” said Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American Airlines. “We realize that access to global transportation was important in the decision to bring this exhibit to Dallas, and it is exciting to know that American Airlines is helping to make it possible for this remarkable exhibit to be seen by thousands of visitors.”

Since opening in June 2005, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” has drawn nearly 4 million visitors, setting records in each city it has visited, including Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago and Philadelphia. With nearly 1.3 million visitors at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the exhibition became the most popular museum exhibition in the state's history.

“The previous King Tut tour in the 1970s was a major cultural phenomenon and, to some extent, coined the term ‘blockbuster,’” said John Norman, president of Arts and Exhibitions International. “The huge response to ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ proved that the public is still embracing the legacy of the boy king. We are thrilled that now, even more Americans will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about this important period in world history.”

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Opening on October 3, 2008, at the Dallas Museum of Art, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” provides insight into the life of Tutankhamun and other royals of the 18th Dynasty (1555 B.C.-1305 B.C.). All of the treasures in the exhibition are between 3,300 and 3,500 years old.

Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period of Egyptian history. The boy king died under mysterious circumstances around age 18 or 19, in the ninth year of his reign (1323 B.C.).

“Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” offers glimpses of that evolving period. On display are 50 of Tutankhamun’s burial objects, including his royal diadem — the gold crown discovered encircling the head of his mummified body that he likely wore as king — and one of the gold and precious stone inlaid canopic coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs.

More than 70 additional objects from tombs of 18th Dynasty royals, as well as several non-royal individuals, also are exhibited. These stone, faience and wooden pieces from burial sites before Tut’s reign give visitors a sense of what the lost burials of other royalty and commoners may have been like.

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