Ramses II's sarcophagus returns to Paris after half a century

Aya Salah , Tuesday 4 Apr 2023

The sarcophagus of Pharaoh Ramses II arrived in Paris and was unveiled on Monday before it will be displayed in the French capital for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Ramses II
This picture shows the top of the coffin of King Ramses II during an unveiling ceremony ahead of the opening of the exhibition Ramses et l or des pharaons at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris on April 3, 2023. AFP


The sarcophagus will be joining the international touring exhibition titled “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs,” for a five-month-long stay in Paris.

On display will be more than 180 dazzling artefacts from the Kingdom of Pharaoh Ramses II including the restored funerary mask of Egyptian Pharaoh Amenemope, exceptional jewelry and furniture from the untouched tombs of the city of Tanis.

Some of the objects are over 3,000 years old and are being exhibited for the first time outside Egypt.

The exhibition will also offer a virtual reality experience to allowing visitors to tour the fabulous Temple of Abu Simbel and the Tomb of Nefertari.

The La Villette exhibition centre in northeast Paris, where the exhibition will be hosted, drew 1.4 million visitors in 2019 during a previous exhibition about Tutankhamun.

Egypt's Ambassador to Paris Alaa Youssef delivered a speech at the unveiling event to French and international media expressing his happiness.

“The display of this sarcophagus is exceptional and is a tribute to the French scientists who restored and treated the mummy of King Ramses II in 1976,” Youssef explained, in a reference to the last time the sarcophagus was in Paris.

“It also reflects the outstanding historical relations between the two countries in various fields,” he added.

The ambassador also invited the French people to visit Egypt to get a closer look at its rich civilisation, as well as to learn about its comprehensive development and promising future.

Ramses II reigned for 63 years between 1276 and 1213 BC, establishing the Pharaohs’ domination over Nubia and building the Temple of Abu Simbel.

On January, the Egyptian cabinet approved allowing Ramses II’s wooden coffin to be displayed  in Paris.

The exhibition was first inaugurated in November 2021 in Houston before moving to San Francisco in August 2022. Its next stop will be in Sydney, Australia.

Short link: