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Professor Zahi Hawass is one of the most influential archaeologists ever. He has worked

To recreate the “big picture”, the broader context of the treasures in the tomb, is a fascinating challenge which this exhibition successfully masters.

Similar problems plagued cave paintings dating from the Ice Age, such as those in Altamira and Lascaux, and a solution was found years ago in the form of a detailed full-scale replica produced under scientific supervision, which – as Lascaux demonstrates – loses none of the original’s capacity to inspire. And what about the treasures of Tutankhamun? There is hardly a better example than the replicas in our exhibition, which have been carefully prepared under the supervision and guidance of Egyptologists! Presented with subtle lighting, and accompanied by texts written by experts, explanations and translations of some of the hieroglyphic texts, the close to 1,000 replicas provide visitors with an unparalleled impression of all (!) of the treasures in the young pharaoh’s tomb! Nowhere else is an “experience” of this kind possible, not in the Egyptian Museum, and not in the aforementioned Tut exhibitions. Experienced up close, unobstructed and unaffected by the glare of glass display cases, security ropes or beeping alarms, the objects on display are able to speak directly to the observer. Time and again there is the question of whether seeing an exhibition consisting exclusively of replicas is somehow less “exciting” than a show displaying originals. For the viewer, where precisely does the difference lie? One aspect is perfectly clear: a replica can never be an adequate substitute for an original work of art, whether a painting, a sculpture or a relief, when the goal of its consideration is to discover the hallmarks of the artist’s mastery, to understand the language of his artistic intention; only an original permits this by virtue of its very authenticity and uniqueness. The awareness of standing before something utterly unique, irreplaceable, and authentic has an additional effect on the viewer, who is drawn in by the aura of the art object. Thus a replica of a painting by Raphael or Tizian, no matter how masterfully executed, will never exert the same effect on the viewer as the original. But the treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb are another story entirely. Here the main intention is not so much to examine processes of artistic production, but rather to bring the entire spectrum of this incredible wealth of precious objects, faithfully and artistically rendered as replicas, to as large

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on countless excavations, books, documentation films and toured the whole world with his lectures on archaeology and Ancient Egypt. He has striven for more publicity and international awareness for Egyptology and served as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Minister of Antiquities of Egypt. We were able to invite him on several occasions to hold lectures in conncection with our Tutankhamun exhibitions.

an audience as possible. A similar type of exhibition with the originals would not only be impossible, for the reasons already mentioned, it would also be irresponsible. But this exhibition shows just how fascinating carefully executed replicas can be as they allow visitors to understand the full extent of King Tut’s treasure trove – something that was previously only possible to see in selected photographs or paintings and illustrations. Here the focus is not on the authenticity of individual objects, but on the effect they create as a group, or rather on the reconstruction and documentation of a wealth of ancient treasures which were sealed in a tomb thousands of years ago, and, upon their discovery by archaeologists and Egyptologists, divided up, inventoried, and transported to various repositories, cabinets and display cases, only some of which are accessible to the public. To recreate the “big picture”, the broader context of the treasures in the tomb, and to reconstruct their original combination, is a fascinating challenge which this exhibition successfully masters. The exhibition is made even more attractive and informative by the fact that the magnificent replicas also provide visitors with an impressive look at the masterful skill with which artisans fashioned both the originals and their “doubles”. The exhibition tour begins by recreating the treasure trove as it was originally found; for the first time since Howard Carter entered the tomb in 1922, it is possible to see the artefacts as they once stood, placed in their original locations throughout the burial chambers. Furthermore, the replicas themselves document the individual objects in a way that is both scholarly and accessible, giving visitors the opportunity to become acquainted with their cultural, historical and religious contexts. In this way this fascinating Tutankhamun exhibition, recalling the exciting discovery of the tomb, continues to communicate the significance of the art and religion of the pharaohs, and their allure and mystery, to as many people as possible. And since the beginning of this exhibition project, five million visitors, especially children and teens, have succumbed to this fascinating combination of magic, mystery and adventure.

Discovering Tutankhamun by Zahi Hawass

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When Christoph Scholz asked me to write this book, I told him that I had already written six others on Tutankhamun and the discovery of his tomb. Three were catalogs for the exhibits of Tutankhamun in the United States and Japan, and one was about the “golden boy”. Two more books focused on the discovery. I even re-excavated the tomb (imitation), which you can read about in King Tutankhamun: The Treasures of the Tomb, and found out that I could not do anything better than Howard Carter. He was a great archaeologist. Scholz then said to me that there was no book that included the new information about the king and also what has been found in the Valley of the Kings after Carter. I thought about that and realized that this is true. So in this book I concentrated on the history of Egypt before the Golden King and also the history of his time, along with the discovery of the tomb and the objects. But what is especially

interesting for me about this book is being able to introduce new people in the life of Tutankhamun, such as Maia, the wet nurse whose tomb has been found at Saqqara; a man named Sennedjem, buried near the city of Sohag, who might have been the boy-king’s tutor; Parennefer, called Wenennefer, who lived in his time. There are also newly discovered scenes from his reign found at Memphis, and what they can show about the king’s life. Many people thought that this tomb of Tutankhamun might be the last treasure to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings, but many important things have happened since Howard Carter, such as the rediscovery of KV 5 and KV 53, and the truly new discoveries of KV 63 and KV 64. There has been an Egyptian expedition working in the Valley of the Kings now for the first time, searching for missing tombs there and in the Valley of the Monkeys. We have found important things about how the ancient Egyptians tried to protect the royal necropolis and we have revealed the secret of the mysterious tunnel in the tomb of Seti I, which has puzzled archaeologists since the tomb was first found in 1817. Not all the work has been out in the field. Using forensic techniques such as CT scanners and DNA we are working to uncover secrets of the mummies. You will read elsewhere in this book about what science has told us about the family of Tutankhamun and about how the young king died, but I will tell you here a little bit about what we have learned about three other mummies. We have been able to identify the mummy of an unknown woman found in KV 60 as Queen Hatshepsut. This happened thanks to CT scans and a tooth found in a wooden box containing a liver and stomach and inscribed with the queen’s name, which was found in the mummy cache at Deir el-Bahari in 1871. CT scans also revealed that Rameses III was murdered with a sharp knife, a fact not mentioned in the ancient papyri recording the trials of the people involved in the harem conspiracy. With DNA analysis, we realized that a famous mummy in the Egyptian Museum known as Unknown Man E is Rameses III’s son, Pentawere, who worked with his mother Tia to murder the king.

From starting out as a concert promoter over 20 years ago, Semmel Concerts has evolved into a producer of cultural happenings: concerts and tours from all genres of music, musical and show productions, exhibitions with expanded programs of lectures, festivals and motto days (see page 22) and adding to that: book publications. Complimentary to our Tutankhamun exhibition we published Zahi Hawass’ Discovering Tutankhamun in cooperation with The American University Cairo Press. The German translation is up for publishing later in 2014, and the book in French in early 2015. Zahi Hawass and SC Exhibitions are currently working on a children’s book, The Legend of the Golden Boy, which will be released in the second half of 2014. Through this book you will feel the magic of the great discovery and read how Tutmania has entered the hearts of people all over the world. What is even more interesting is that I will take you on a great adventure through all the new discoveries about this great king and his time. I hope you will follow along with me as we explore all about the legend and the mysteries of Tutankhamun.

Meet Dr Hawass in Seattle! AAM Annual Meeting / Museum Expo 2014 Booth of Premier Exhibitions 19 May at 3pm/20 May at 4.15pm Get your signed free* copy of “Discovering Tuthankamun“! (* While stocks last)

1 Lectures all over the world: Zahi Hawass 2 With Christoph Scholz at the Winter Palace in Luxor

SC Exhibitions Magazine 2014 | 19

SC Exhibitions magazine 2014  

The very first edition of the annual SC Exhibitions magazine is out now. We are publishing it to tell you about our work and to connect wi...

SC Exhibitions magazine 2014  

The very first edition of the annual SC Exhibitions magazine is out now. We are publishing it to tell you about our work and to connect wi...

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