Sunday, September 10, 2006

Exhibition: Temples and Tombs

"No need to jump a jet to London to tour the British Museum's Egyptian art exhibit, which has the largest collection outside of Cairo, Egypt. A large sculpture from Britain's exhibit of ancient Egyptian art. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is the first stop of a five-city tour of an 85-piece exhibit from The British Museum titled Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art From The British Museum. Hardy George, chief curator for the museum, said the items are representative of the rule of the pharaohs, from around 2686 B.C. to the fourth century A.D. . . . With items constructed of stone, glass, gold, papyrus and terra cotta, the largest is the red granite Lion of Amenhotepp III reinscribed for Tutankhamun that weighs 6,000 pounds and the smallest, a gold, 3/4-inch lion bead. A crew of 12, including three staffers from The British Museum, have been working since Aug. 21 to ensure that the exhibit is ready when it opens Thursday. The Egyptian art treasures will be on view in Oklahoma City until Nov. 26."
The exhibition runs from September 7th until November 26th 2006.
Before the freshly painted walls could be put in place, several massive statues had to be rigged and set on their pedestals. Moving the bigger pieces took an entire day, a forklift extension, special equipment and 11 people, including a specially trained rigger from Chicago. Protecting the workers and artwork meant carefully coordinating everyone’s movements during rigging and moving the giant objects, Sanchez said. To move the 6,000-pound granite lion, the exhibit’s heaviest object, the team used a double gantry, a kind of A-frame, with four chains dangling from it. The chains were hooked to straps that went under the lion, which was covered for the move, so it could be raised and then lowered onto its pedestal. Each chain used could hold 6,000 pounds on its own.

Details of the exhibition, including details of related events and future U.S. venues, can be found at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art website at:

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