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See ‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’ at the Saatchi Gallery

Town & Country UK logo Town & Country UK 3 days ago Brooke Theis
a close up of a person: The largest collection of King Tut’s wondrous belongings ever to travel outside of Egypt is on display © IMG The largest collection of King Tut’s wondrous belongings ever to travel outside of Egypt is on display

More than 150 artefacts of the 5,300 excavated from Tutankhamun’s tomb – 60 of which had never previously left Egypt – comprise the Saatchi gallery’s latest exhibition, ‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’.

Dating back 3,300 years, Tutankhamun’s most treasured possessions were buried with him, alongside glorious objects fashioned by the greatest craftsmen in Egypt upon his death. The objects reveal the rituals intended to transport the young King through the underworld, from an army of statuettes to protect him to a selection of boomerangs and intricately carved bows and staffs embedded with precious stones.

Tutankhamun’s wishing cup in the form of an open lotus © Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo, Italy Tutankhamun’s wishing cup in the form of an open lotus

Cases of meat and bread loaves, and models of boats that were believed to miraculously enlarge to full-size, vividly show the intense preparation surrounding Tutankhamun’s burial. Visitors will also see the dainty senet set (a board game) he was buried with to keep him amused, his gilded wooden bed with feet carved like lion paws, myriad exquisite jewellery and his lotus-shaped wishing cup. Also housed within the Saatchi’s walls is a colossal and imposing stone statue of Tutankhamun himself – a figure far less intimate and telling than his trinkets and tackle.

a close up of a coin: See Tutankhamun’s treasures at the Saatchi gallery © IMG See Tutankhamun’s treasures at the Saatchi gallery

Cinematic lighting, full-size replicas of the tomb’s murals and a documentary-video introduction conjure a fully immersive atmosphere. Woven throughout the exhibition is the captivating narrative of the tomb’s discovery by the Kensington-born archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. “Wonderful things,” he told his sponsor Lord Carnarvon as he first beheld the tomb’s interior, in response to his question, “Can you see anything?” Having been digging in the Valley of the Kings since 1907, the pair were led to the breakthrough when a water boy accidentally stumbled on a stone at the top of a flight of steps carved into the bedrock.

a close up of a bench: Gilded wooden bed © Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo, Italy Gilded wooden bed

London is the third stop on a 10-country tour for the exhibition, following record-breaking residences in Los Angeles and Paris, and it will finish at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo as a permanent display in 2022 (100 years after its uncovering) – making this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe Tutankhamun’s priceless possessions in such close proximity.

‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’ presented by Viking Cruises is at the Saatchi Gallery until 3 May 2020. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.tutankhamun-london.com.

a close up of a man: Gilded wooden figure of Tutankhamun on a skiff, throwing a harpoon © IMG Gilded wooden figure of Tutankhamun on a skiff, throwing a harpoon
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