Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exhibition: Cleopatra at the Franklin Institute

Washington Times (Jacquie Kubin)

With photos. Still no news about where the next venues are going to be.

mposing in their size and power are the two 16-foot tall figures of a Ptolemic King and Queen from the Temple of Amon at Heracleion, an ancient city near modern day Alexandria.

Making a search extending back 2,000 years in history even more difficult is that Egypt’s Roman conquerors attempted to rewrite history by destroying all evidence of her existence and her romances with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, assignations that were as much about romance as they were about aligning Egypt with political power.

Your visit starts with a brief movie, which introduces two men, Dr. Zahi Hawass, archaeologist and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Franck Goddio, underwater archaeologist and director of IEASM. These explorers are looking beneath the sea and into the warm sands of Egypt seeking the final resting place of the elusive queen.

Stepping beyond what is believed to be a statute of Cleopatra’s body (the head is sadly missing) visitors walk into the ruins of ancient Alexandria and are able to see, quite closely, the very artifacts that once populated the Queens castle and court.

The presentation is as interesting and impactful as any I have seen. It is also reverently quiet as people listen to the personalized audio tour where the “voice” of Cleopatra narrates your journey centuries back in time.

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