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Tutankhamen Arrives In Paris
Over 3000 years in the making, Paris welcomes the exhibit “Tutankhamen: His Tomb and His Treasures” in its prestigious Porte de Versailles exposition center. Until the middle of September, visitors will be able to recreate the magic the original explorers felt when penetrating Tutankhamen’s mysteries for the first time.
Speaking of “recreate”—the exposition consists entirely of copies of the original pieces — visitors are treated to a display the scope of which is rarely seen. The real works, many of which never travel at all, would require a pharaonic effort to unite under one roof, whereas this expo not only presents 5,000 pieces together, but in conditions that lets the guest get close and personal; not to mention the dioramas inside the entrance which reproduce in detail exactly what Howard Carter discovered when passing over the mummy’s threshold in 1923.
While some may rightfully argue that it’s more interesting to study the real Mona Lisa than a copy, the point could be made that art connoisseurs regularly peruse reproductions in books, and that “Tutankhamen: His Tomb and His Treasures” is similar to a 3D tome in which readers can immerse themselves and walk around.
After a short film providing historical background of the exhibition, light rises on the first sight to greet Carter when he stepped through the dark cavern leading from the doorway in the sand of the Valley of the Kings through to the buried treasure. These reconstructed antechambers open the first of the three sections that make up the expo.
The visitor will discover a meticulously arranged annex with explanations provided by way of complimentary headphones available in English, French, Spanish and German. The next stop is the burial room illustrating the painstaking process by which Carter and his team unearthed the mummy of Tutankhamen to be followed by the last room Carter himself would discover: the treasury and its limitless bounty.
Following this introduction, the guest enters the display area where literally thousands of pieces of the King’s cache are laid out in an awesome display of riches. Comprehensive descriptions in both English and French tell the story behind each individual item so that the treasures of Tut’s tomb will hold secrets for no one.
The third and final, bonus section tacked on at the end of the visit is dedicated to Howard Carter, the man who struggled through nearly two decades and one world war to prove to the skeptics what he had known all along: there was one more hidden tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
Those who are interested in Egyptology, who have seen previous expositions and would like to compare, or even the young and curious will find some precious treasures of their own that they can keep guarded in their memories. This exposition is a time machine that takes people back to another land 100 years ago and then 3000 years before that.
Tutankhamen: His Tomb and His Treasures
Porte de Versailles
Métro: Ligne 12 – Station Porte de Versailles
Tramway : T2 or T3 – Station Porte de Versailles
Open every day 10am – 7pm
Price (includes audio guide): 15.90€ (12.90€ on Mondays)
Children (5-14): 12.90€
Children under 5: Free
King Tutankhamen brochure (English)
By Paul Prescott (Paris Inspired Website)
All photos ©Paul Prescott
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