Monday, April 23, 2007

Exhibition: More re Temples and Tombs

"The 6,000-pound red granite lion symbolizes the power of the Egyptian Pharaoh. But Mary Ellen Soles, curator of ancient art at the N.C. Museum of Art, said the sculpture reminds her of 'a big kitty cat.' It’s the first thing people will encounter when visiting Temples and Tombs: Treasures of Egyptian Art from the British Museum. Soles pointed out the big cat’s casual pose. One front paw is crossed over another and his tail curls around the front of his body. There’s a benign expression on his face. Soles noted the 'acutely observed naturalism,' such as the animal’s ribs and a pouch of sagging skin incorporated into the sculpture. Those elements contrast with the more traditional, formal look of the ruff around the lion’s neck. The sculpture was created for Amenhotep III, who ruled Egypt during one of its most prosperous times. It was later re-inscribed for his grandson, Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut.
Moving the lion and other heavy objects into the museum a few weeks ago was no small feat, requiring the efforts of man and machine. 'It was as if they were building the pyramids,' said Larry Wheeler, the museum’s director. Unless you travel to Egypt or to The British Museum in London, Wheeler said, you’re unlikely to see an exhibit of this quality or scope. The exhibit has been traveling to different cities in the United States and Canada. It will go to a few more locations before the artwork is returned to London."
See the above page for the full story.

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