Saturday, February 05, 2011

Exhibition: Mummy baby to come out of ROM closet

The Star

With Video: "Gayle Gibson, a teacher and Egyptologist at the ROM, takes us behind the scenes and reveals fascinating details of two little mummies in their collection."

A mummified Egyptian baby, which one curator thought would never be displayed in her lifetime, is part of a new collection debuting at the museum this month, believe it or not.

The six-month-old infant, who hasn’t been out for public viewing at the Royal Ontario Museum since the 1950s, was one of two recently plucked from storage for a History Television episode entitled “Museum Secrets.”

“I doubt these mummies will go back on display in my lifetime,” ROM Egyptologist Gayle Gibson told a Star reporter who was writing about the television show, which aired last month.

Researchers aren’t sure how the infants originally came to Toronto, but Gibson said they likely arrived here with a tourist or researcher in the late 1800s, carted back as a souvenir or for study.

The 2000-year-old baby, who is slightly flattened and elongated, will be part of this month’s Out of the Vault series, which will be showcased in Canada Court on level one of the ROM from Feb. 5 to Feb. 21.

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