More than two thousand years later his story doesn’t cease to fascinate. No other emperor has been a subject of more exhibitions than this young Egyptian fellow who’s life, believe it or not, was cut short by a banal tooth infection. Last time Germany hosted an exhibition dedicated to the pharaoh of the 18th dynasty was almost three decades ago. In 1980 it housed the largest display on record – 53 original tomb pieces toured the cities of Berlin, Munich, Hannover and Hamburg in a never-seen-before public presentation.
At the height of Tutankhamun fever, his personal objects and other significant archeological relics had been touring the world for over 20 years. Frowned upon by Egyptian government back then, most of them rest now within the walls of Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Any future travelling exhibitions of these archeological treasures depend solely on the will of Egyptian authorities and are very likely banned for for the years to come.
The current Berlin show is special in a way because it doesn’t display original ancient artifacts but modern replicas coming from the Motherland Egypt and its Fine Art company. They’re esentially plastic products covered by synthetic materials. One could argue about the appeal and the sense of replicating objects as opposed to standing face to face with the originals but the Berlin exhiibiton tries to convey more than that. The organizers’ effort was to educate and inform visitors on ancient Egypt’s history in an interactive way. In addition to introducing more than 1000 items including funerary shrines, three coffins and sarcofaghus, it provides large panels focusing on the empire’s history, religion, science and geography.
Three short films get visitors acquainted with three main historical figures of the period: Amenophis III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Followed by a short documentary on the discovery of the grave, the Berlin event proves an attempt to approach the topic with the respect it deserves. It’s attempt is to raise interest. It certainly doesn’t fail.
Where: ARENA Berlin, Eichenstr.4, Berlin – Treptow
When: From March 9th – ongoing