Thursday, April 24, 2008

Egyptian mummy on display at Mdina

Times of Malta

Heritage Malta this weekend will be exhibiting an Egyptian mummy at the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina. The mummy was brought to Malta, together with several other Egyptian artefacts, by Lord Grenfell who was Governor of Malta from 1899 to 1903. The artefacts form part of what is now known as the Grenfell Egyptian Collection.

The items in the collection were first displayed in Malta in 1901 in the newly set up Valletta Museum. The exhibition was organised to coincide with the royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of York to Malta. The Egyptian artefacts were exhibited in one of the inner rooms of the building which was reserved for exhibits that do not form part of the history of the islands.

The exhibition was so successful that it developed into a permanent display, and in 1903 Grenfell was also instrumental in establishing a Committee of Management of the Museum, to manage the new museum, which was housed in the Industrial Hall of the headquarters of the Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in Valletta, located at Palazzo Xara, just opposite St John's Co-Cathedral.

The Egyptian mummy and its wooden sarcophagus are of late 26th Dynasty.

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