King Tut Treasures Embark on Largest-Ever World Tour

Shrine made of wood covered with gold foil inside and gold leaf outside, from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Shrine made of wood covered with gold foil inside and gold leaf outside, from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
(©Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo/Italy)
  • Restorer Ahued El Sheikka carries out a complete restoration of two shields from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

    Restorer Ahued El Sheikka carries out a complete restoration of two shields from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

    Philippe Bourseiller

  • Gilded wooden jackal-headed figure of Duamutef from the tomb of Tutankhamun

    Gilded wooden jackal-headed figure of Duamutef from the tomb of Tutankhamun

    ©Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo/Italy

Four decades ago, the unprecedented blockbuster “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibition drew massive crowds in six American cities; now there's a new chance to see some of the greatest artifacts of Ancient Egypt.

The current World Tour will premiere in Los Angeles in Spring 2018 at the California Science Center, featuring 150 Tut treasures, the most ever to tour internationally.

A new chapter of ancient Egyptian history will be unearthed to the world with the debut of KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, an extraordinary and exclusive exhibition celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of his tomb.

Presented by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, Exhibitions International, IMG and the California Science Center, the new immersive exhibition will display more than 150 real artifacts from Tutankhamun’s (also known as King Tut) tomb. The ten-city international exhibition tour will debut in Los Angeles on March 24, 2018 and be on view through early January 2019 at the California Science Center.

The exhibition’s curated collection represents the largest assembly of artifacts and gold from Tutankhamun’s tomb ever on public display outside of Egypt, which has historically been limited to approximately 50 items. On display will be many items the Boy King himself used in life and in death, including: golden jewelry, elaborate carvings, sculptures, and ritual antiquities. Forty percent of these artifacts will be leaving Egypt for the first and last time before returning for permanent display at the new Grand Egyptian Museum currently under construction.

“To celebrate the 100th year anniversary of discovering the tomb of the Boy King Tutankhamun, as a part of the celebration, Egypt is sending 150 masterpieces to tour all over the world…Please see them, visit them, before they return back to Egypt forever,” said Dr. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary General of the Ministry of State for Antiquities, Egypt.

Regarding the exhibition’s debut, California Science Center President Jeff Rudolph adds, “Guests will also learn how the scientific analysis of his 3,000 year-old mummy revealed new information about his health and lineage, as well as how cutting-edge archeological tools are assisting in discovering tombs and analyzing existing ones in ways never before imagined.”

The exhibition will remain in Los Angeles for nearly ten months before moving to Europe. Exhibition guests can follow King Tut as he journeys from death through the underworld to find his place in the afterlife, learning how each burial artifact was used to assist him in his life-after-death journey. Guests will also discover how their presence in the exhibition perpetuates King Tut’s immortality.

According to the ancient Egyptians, a man dies twice. First, when his soul leaves his body and a second time after the death of the last person who speaks his name. King Tut’s intact tomb was first discovered by British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter in 1922. If not for the destiny of King Tut and Howard Carter, two men separated by 3,400 years, the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh might have been lost for eternity.

“Some stories are everlasting, and that is the case with the legend of King Tut,” said President of Exhibitions International John Norman, who also produced both Tutankhamun exhibitions that toured during the past decade. “For this new exhibition, we have curated an extraordinary collection of treasures from King Tut’s tomb and given this historical discovery a timely new dimension. Visitors will be truly immersed in a modern presentation like no other.”

“We are proud to be collaborating with the Egyptian Government, Exhibitions International and presenting sponsor American Express to stage the final ten-city tour of Tutankhamun’s artifacts,” said Stephen Flint Wood, Managing Director of Arts & Entertainment Events at IMG. “Many of the artifacts have never left Egypt before, so for many of our visitors it is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are delighted to bring this tour first to the California Science Center.”

Unlike past tours, KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is exclusively focused on interpreting the significance and meaning of artifacts from Tutankhamun’s personal tomb and includes:

  • Wooden Guardian Statue of the King – The dramatic, life-size ka statue of Tutankhamun marks his passage from the dark night of the Netherworld to his rebirth at dawn.
  • Gilded Wooden Bed – The ceremonial bed was likely made for Tutankhamun’s funeral. The lion feet guard him and the bed represents the idea of resurrection. Other protective images and carvings keep Tutankhamun safe, warding off the dark forces bent on harming him.
  • Gilded Wooden Shrine with Scenes of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun – One of the most exquisite items in Tutankhamun’s tomb, this golden shrine offers a rare glimpse into the daily life of a royal household with intimate scenes of the Pharaoh and his wife, Ankhesenamun.
  • Gold Inlaid Canopic Coffinette of Tutankhamun – This exquisite, jeweled coffinette held the King’s mummified liver. The image of the protective god Isis decorates the inside of each lid.

The exhibition will feature nine distinct experiential galleries and an array of 3D visuals, digital content, 360-degree theatrical manifestations, custom soundscapes and more in an engaging, audio-guided tour.

“This new visual and sensory experience brings his story to life with objects that have never been displayed outside of Egypt, illustrating its incredible history and impact for an international audience like never before,” said esteemed archaeologist Zahi Hawass. “KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is a monumental achievement for the preservation of ancient Egyptian history and King Tutankhamun’s place in it – his legacy will live forever within the Grand Egyptian Museum as well as in the hearts of people all over the world.”

Set to open in May 2018, the Grand Egyptian Museum – supported by proceeds from the exhibition – will be situated adjacent to the Giza Plateau within 1.5 miles of the Giza pyramids. Once completed it will be a world-leading scientific, historical and archaeological study center that will cover approximately 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history and house more than 100,000 artifacts. This stunning location will serve as a backdrop to a display of priceless artifacts, including the final resting place of the Tutankhamun collection. The Giza Plateau is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Aside from the pyramids, it is home to the Giza Necropolis and the Great Sphinx.

As presenting sponsor of the exhibition, American Express will be providing American Express Card Members with exclusive access to presale tickets and special ticket packages from November 30 – December 10 at Terms apply. 

“We are thrilled to be sponsoring the KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition and providing our Card Members with an opportunity to be among the first to get access to what will certainly be a one-of-a-kind collection and unforgettable experience,” said Josh McKay, Vice President and General Manager of Global Benefits and Services, American Express.

General tickets will go on sale mid-January 2018. Due to anticipated sellout, ticket pre-registration is open today through January 8. The free registration will allow guests first access to tickets before they go on sale to the general public.  

Ticket prices range from $19.20 to $29.95. Discounts are available for members, students, seniors and groups. Groups of 15 or more may inquire about group reservations by calling 213-744-2019.


ArtfixDaily Artwire