Before leaving for its permanent exhibition at the Hurghada Museum on the Red Sea, a beautiful bust of princess Merit-Amun, an object from the treasured collection of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, has been put on show in a special display in the foyer, reports Nevine El-Aref.
Director-General of the Museum Sabah Abdel-Razek described the bust as an ancient Egyptian masterpiece demonstrating the full skills of its artist. It was discovered in a chapel dedicated to the princess inside the Ramesseum Temple in Thebes built by her father king Ramses II.
Merit-Amun was one of the daughters of Ramses II, who took on the role of great royal wife after the death of her mother queen Nefertari. In 1981, a colossal statue of her was found in the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmim beside a similar statue of her father at the entrance to his temple.
The bust on display at the Egyptian Museum depicts Merit-Amun wearing a long wig with a diadem on her forehead featuring two cobras wearing the white and red crowns, the symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt. On top of her head there is a crown surrounded by a diadem, decorated all the way round with a frieze of uraeus with solar disks.
She is wearing earrings, a broad collar, and a bracelet on her left hand, in which she holds a musical instrument called a menat. The painted decoration of the bust is very well preserved.
A menat was an ancient Egyptian musical instrument used on the occasion of feasts held in honour of female deities, and it produces a loud noise while shaken.