Around forty years ago, the Egyptian government approved sending 55 of some of the rarest artefacts belonging to the boy king Tutankhamun [to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the US] that were discovered by the British archaeologist Hayward Carter on November 4, 1922. Even though this pharaoh ruled Egypt for less than nine years and died before he could prepare a tomb suitable for someone of his status in the same way his pharaonic ancestors did, over five thousand artefacts were found in his tomb and are still attracting the world’s attention and stealing the hearts of those who view them.
Back to the story of King Tutankhamen’s first exhibition in the US, the artefacts were displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and despite that the museum made millions of dollars from donations to the museum and from the catalogues and souvenirs that were sold, Egypt made no financial profits from it. However, we cannot deny the tourist and promotional gains as a result of King Tut’s presence in the US.
Now that we know all the facts, the exhibition of Tutankhamen is back once again in New York City after 40 years. This time, the wonders of King Tut will not be displayed at the Met but in a special display hall in New York. This is because the Metropolitan administration insisted it would not pay Egypt for the exhibition based on the pretext that entry to the museum is usually free, despite the fact that we know no one is allowed to enter the Met unless a donation is made and about other considerable financial profits as mentioned above.
When we received the Met’s reply, I announced to news agencies and newspapers that from now on, Egypt will no longer hand out freebies!
The announcement was accepted by the media, particularly as the exhibition made Egypt nearly 100 million dollars in revenues over the past four years by displaying the antiquities in a number of US states.
The hall that will host the exhibition is located in the most luxurious part of Times Square in New York. The exhibition was prepared superbly and all the signs for success are there. The museum’s sponsors have erected a statue of Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of mummification and death, in front of the Statue of Liberty, New York’s most renowned landmark, in order to herald the arrival of King Tutankhamen and the [Golden Age of the Pharaohs] exhibition, which has received nearly 5 million visitors since it arrived in the US four years ago.
The revenues of this exhibition will all go to the construction of the new Grand Museum [in Egypt], which will be the most important and the largest museum for antiquities in the world. Newspapers and magazines in the US published the image of Anubis in front of the Statue of Liberty but they all asked the same question: why use Anubis in particular to advertise the boy king?
In fact, the statue of Anubis was found in the chamber called the treasure room in Tutankhamen’s tomb, near the burial room where the king’s mummy lies. Therefore, Anubis was always the guardian and the protector of the dead in ancient Egypt. Even after 3,000 years, Tutankhamen, who travelled to Europe and the US, is still contributing to the restoration of Egyptian antiquities!
The radiance of the boy king is still attracting looks of admiration over the entire world!