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Pharaoh: King of Egypt - new exhibition opens at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
© Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum- Download a larger copy of the image
Release date: Mon, 11/03/2013
Visitors to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery will be transported back to Ancient Egypt as a major new exhibition featuring nearly 100 stunning historic artefacts goes on display.
Pharaoh: King of Egypt opens in Bristol on 16 March and features highlights from the British Museum’s superb collection of Ancient Egyptian objects. The national touring exhibition is the largest UK loan of Egyptian artefacts ever undertaken by the British Museum.
Pharaoh:King of Egypt is open daily from 16 March until 21 July.
Tickets £5 / £4 concessions / £3 children / Free Under 5s/ Family Ticket £10 (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)
Free Fridays: 19 April, 17 May, 21 June and 19 July.
The exhibition explores the lives of the pharaohs and their role as head of state, high priest and army commanders through objects and artefacts spanning over 3,000 years of history, including monumental statues, beautifully carved stone reliefs from ancient temples, papyri and glittering gold jewellery. The exhibition also features more unusual objects, including:
- The colourful inlays used to decorate a pharaoh’s palace.
- Diplomatic letters to Egypt’s allies, inscribed on clay tablets.
- The wooden bow of one of the king’s troop commanders.
- An ancient water-clock decorated for a Greek king on the throne of Egypt.
- A 2,500 year old loaf of bread and a 3,000year old wooden bed.
The exhibition presents the splendour and power of the ancient Kings, but also insights into the realities of ruling a complex civilisation: from civil war to state-sponsored tomb-robbing, and even times when foreigners sat on the throne of Egypt.
From 20 April - 29 September Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will also showcase Pharaoh: reborn, a collection of watercolours by Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni of the tomb of Pharaoh Sety I. The display will show the journey of the pharaoh after death through the Underworld.
Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, said: ‘This exhibition is a fantastic example of collaboration between the British Museum and its partners across the UK having been seen by over 270,000 people in venues across the country. This is the largest ever loan of Egyptian artefacts by the British Museum in the UK and also the largest Partnership UK tour the Museum has ever undertaken. The British Museum is committed to lending its collection widely across the UK allowing objects to be seen by as many people as possible and I am delighted that this hugely successful exhibition will be seen in Bristol, the sixth and final venue in this tour.’
Julie Finch, Director of Bristol, Museums, Galleries and Archives, adds: ‘We are delighted that Bristol visitors will have the opportunity to see these stunning items from the British Museum. The museum will be supporting the exhibition with some of its own collections, including the wonderful Belzoni watercolours.
‘Behind the scenes, staff from across the museum’s have been brushing up on their learning skills and delving into the history of ancient Egypt to become 'Walking Wikis'. Walking Wiki’s will be able to share what they have learnt with visitors and we hope, become a lively and engaging part of the visitor experience.’
Pharaoh: King of Egypt will be accompanied by a programme of events and activities. Highlights include a rare screening of the silent classic ‘The Loves of Pharaoh’ with live musical accompaniment on the harp on 22 March, 8pm. The Museum will also be teaming up with renowned artist Gavin Turk for Museums at Night (16 May) to create a magic carpet experience created through story telling, conversation and visitor participation linking ancient and modern Egyptian worlds.
Families will be able to pick up a free ‘young collectors card’ to earn special hieroglyph stamps by exploring the museum to earn a special limited edition badge.
The exhibition has been sponsored in Bristol by Brewin Dolphin. Jeremy Parrott, Divisional Director Brewin Dolphin, Bristol said, “Brewin Dolphin is delighted to sponsor this major exhibition which continues our support of the arts both nationally and particularly in the Bristol area. We hope that many people will visit and enjoy the Pharaoh exhibition."