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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tutankhamun's gold sheets on display for first time ever at the Egyptian Museum

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 15 Nov 2017
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One of the golden sheet
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Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany is set to inaugurate on Wednesday evening the exhibition of Tutankhamun’s unseen treasures at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where the golden sheets of Tutankhamun will be on display for the first time ever.

The event will be attended by foreign and Egyptian Egyptologists as well as members of the media and government officials.

The exhibition’s date falls on the 115th anniversary of the museum’s opening as well as the 60th anniversary of the re-opening of the German Archaeological Institute Cairo.

Christian Eckmann, a pioneering German restorer who restored the golden sheets of Tutankhamun, told Ahram Online that the exhibition will put the sheets on display for the first time since the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.

In 2014, Eckmann said, a joint project of the Egyptian Museum, the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, the University of Tübingen and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz in Germany was established to do archaeological, technological, scientific and iconographic analysis of an important but largely ignored collection of artefacts discovered in the tomb.

The project, as well as the current exhibition, was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the German Foreign Office.

Eckmann says that the discovery of the tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings revolutionised our understanding of Egypt’s past, as it was the first time an undisturbed royal Egyptian tomb was ever discovered.

Carter and his team had meticulously documented the position and appearance of approximately 5,400 objects, including furniture, weapons, clothing, vessels, food, chariots, and cultic items. However, he did not have time for a comprehensive analysis of all the discoveries.

"This is especially true for a group of exquisitely ornamented gold-sheet and leather appliqués that were found scattered on the floor of the antechamber and the treasury, close to the royal chariots," Eckmann told Ahram Online.

Eckmann said that the location of the appliqués suggests that they were associated with chariot and horse trappings, and are parts of quivers, blinkers and chariot coverings.

Due to their delicate condition and relatively poor state of preservation, as noted by Carter, this collection of golden artefacts was kept in storage at the Egyptian Museum for some 95 years. They had neither been restored nor scientifically examined since their arrival in the museum.

After the exhibition is completed by the end of December, the artefacts will be moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum to be displayed as part of the Tutankhamun collection.

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