DENVER, CO.- Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, a touring exhibition featuring more than 100 treasures from the tomb of the celebrated pharaoh King Tut and additional ancient sites, will make its sole Rocky Mountain West appearance at the Denver Art Museum (DAM), opening to the public July 1, 2010 and continuing through January 2, 2011. The exhibition is organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.
“This exquisite exhibition is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors from Denver and around the region to experience the art of ancient Egypt right here in the Mile High City ,” said Lewis Sharp , director of the Denver Art Museum . “Our recently expanded campus provides us with the space and infrastructure to serve the community with a full scope of exhibition opportunities, and we are excited to be hosting Tutankhamun.”
DAM will host expanded hours during the run of Tutankhamun. A portion of the proceeds from the tour will go toward antiquities preservation and conservation efforts in Egypt , including the construction of a new grand museum in Cairo .
“Tutankhamun’s magic still captures the hearts of people all over the world, even though more than 85 years have passed since the discovery of his amazing tomb,” said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s supreme council of antiquities.
Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs at the DAM will feature striking objects from some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, from the 4th Dynasty into the Late Period (about 2,600 B.C. to 660 B.C.). Derived from a variety of contexts, including temples and both royal and private tombs, many of these artifacts have never before visited the United States .
This spectacular collection features the largest image of King Tut ever unearthed – a 10-foot statue of the pharaoh found at the remains of the funerary temple of two of his high officials. The statue still retains much of its original paint. The exhibition follows a storyline that explores the splendor of the pharaohs, their function in both the earthly and divine worlds and what “kingship” meant to the Egyptian people. Visitors will encounter artifacts from some of the most powerful Egyptian rulers, including Khefren, whose great pyramid is the only remaining structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world; Hatshepsut, the queen who became a pharaoh; and Psusennes I, whose magnificent golden death mask will be on display.
The DAM will dedicate two expansive Hamilton Building gallery spaces to the exhibition, the Anschutz Gallery and the Gallagher Family Gallery. The dramatic experience will begin with a short National Geographic video documentary narrated by award-winning actor Harrison Ford, then will lead to spaces exploring the discovery of Tut’s tomb by British explorer Howard Carter in 1922. Guests will encounter legendary artifacts from the burial site’s antechamber, annex, treasury and burial chamber in corresponding galleries, which will include the pharaoh’s golden sandals, jewelry, furniture, weaponry and statuary.
New scientific discoveries that emerged from a landmark Egyptian research and conservation project, partially funded by the National Geographic Society, also will be on view, providing visitors with further insight into Tutankhamun’s legendary life and death. This includes the first 3-D CT scans of the great King’s mummy, captured through the use of a portable CT scanner donated by Siemens Medical Solutions.
National Geographic Books publishes the companion book to the exhibition, written by Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt ’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is one of two National Geographic exhibitions dedicated to the remarkable treasures of King Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian royalty. The other exhibition, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, currently is on display in San Francisco .