Friday, December 15, 2006

Exhibition: Egypt's Sunken Treasures moves to Paris

"The exhibition features some 500 spectacular objects that sank when geomorphic changes caused Egypt's North Coast to submerge between 600 and 800 AD. They have been rediscovered over the past decade by an underwater team led by French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio.
The Grand Palais, which was built early in the last century and houses art exhibitions from all over the world, combines an imposing classical limestone fa├žade with a riot of Art Nouveau glass and ironwork. In 1993 one of the glass ceiling panels fell and the building was closed for 12 years so extensive restoration could be carried out. It reopened in 2005.
Goddio, with the support of the Hilti Foundation, explored the shallows off Alexandria and Abu Qir, retracing the last centuries of ancient Egypt in the Late Kingdom and under the Ptolemies, through the Roman and Christian periods, the advent of Islam, and even the French fleet which sunk in the Battle of the Nile in 1798."
"Egypt's Sunken Treasures features colossuses of pink granite, a 17.6-ton slab inscribed with hieroglyphics, a phalanx of crouching sphinx, pottery, amulets and gold coins and jewelry - all painstakingly fished out of the Mediterranean. Some of the oldest artifacts are estimated to have spent 2,000 years underwater. The show, which runs through mid-March, spans more than 1,500 years of Egyptian history and traces the decline of the Pharaohs and occupations by Greeks, Romans and Byzantines."
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The exhibition opened in Paris on 9th December 2006 and runs until 16th March 2007. It was visited by more than 450,000 visitors at its first stop in Berlin.

The Paris Grand Palais exhibition website can be found, in French, at:

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