Thanks very much to Bob Partridge, Editor of Ancient Egypt magazine for the following:
A meeting special meeting was held at the Dome in Greenwich on Monday 12th March to the forthcoming “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” exhibition.
The exhibition will be at the Dome and will open on 15th November 2007 and run until 30th August 2008.
At a packed meeting, senior executives from National Geographic, AEG Exhibitions and Arts and Exhibitions International welcomed everyone present and gave an insight into the extensive exhibition which will bring to London fifty objects from the Tomb of Tutankhamun (a few of which were included in the 1972 exhibition) plus a further seventy or so objects from other Valley of the Kings tombs and sites in Egypt.
Also present at the meeting was the Egyptian Ambassador to the UK, Gehad Refaat Maadi, And Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.
There has been a little negative reporting in some newspapers about the exhibition, especially concerning the fact that this time the gold mask is not included. Dr Hawass explained that the mask is too fragile to move, but also emphasised that the new exhibition is much better and wider in its scope than the 1972 exhibition, when fifty objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb were exhibited at the British museum. This time, with the inclusion of many more objects connected with members of Tutankhamun’s family, it will put Tutankhamun and his treasures in their historical and artistic context.
The 1972 exhibition was attended by 1.7 million visitors and the organisers hope that at least 2 million people will se it this time. As at 12th March 135,000 advance group tickets have already been sold.
One special extra for the London exhibition will be an additional dedicated gallery to Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon.
The Dome (now known as The O2 ) having been unused since 2001, has undergone a massive transformation on the inside, due to be completed (on budget and ahead of schedule the organisers were keen to point out) in June. The entertainment complex will include a concert arena, cinemas, restaurants and leisure facilities as well as the new exhibition centre. The Tutankhamun exhibition will be the first to be held there.
For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.visitlondon.com/tut or http://www.kingtut.org/.
The story is covered on the BBC News website at:
"Fifty Egyptian treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun will be shown in the UK.
It is the first time in 35 years that the artefacts, which were excavated from the boy king's tomb in the burial chamber, will be on display in London. More than 130 treasures from the Valley of the Kings, which are all between 3,000 and 3,500 years old, will also make up the exhibition.
The treasures will be displayed on 15 November at the venue now called the O2, formerly the Millennium Dome.
Among the artefacts included in the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition will be his gold crown and one of the gold and inlaid canopic coffinettes which contained Tutankhamun's mummified internal organs."
Also covered at:
"Treasures from the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun are to return to the country for the first time in 35 years. His golden royal crown will be among more than 130 exhibits at the O2 centre, the former Millennium Dome, in November.
But the famous golden funerary mask which so impressed the public at the last such exhibition in London in 1972 is now too delicate to travel and will not be part of the display."
Also covered at:
"The O2, formerly the Millennium Dome, will attempt to prove its capability as an exhibition venue with a much-trumpeted show on boy king Tutankhamun later this year. The exhibition is to be designed by Mark Lach, senior vice-president of entertainment and exhibitions group Arts and Exhibitions International.Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, the first exhibition to take place at The O2, aims to draw visitors back in time with 'inventive design and innovative technology', featuring National Geographic images and film footage about the golden age of the pharaohs."
"The big Tutankhamun show which will launch the new exhibition centre at the Dome - or the O2 Centre as it is now known - has been struck by controversy before it has even opened.
The Pharaoh's gold death mask - the centrepiece of the original Tutankhamun exhibition in Britain in 1972 and the artefact which everyone remembers - will not be part of the exhibition, prompting almost inevitable disappointment for the thousands of visitors who are expected to see the show.
The exhibition has already toured the US and sparked anger online with message boards complaining bitterly of feeling 'cheated' and 'deceived'.
Promotional images appear to show the funerary mask - but are in fact close-ups of a miniature coffin used to store the king's liver."