The Saatchi Gallery makes way for King Tut’s Treasures

The Saatchi Gallery makes way for King Tut’s Treasures
King Tutankhamun's death mask. Courtesy Flickr Commons.
Must see  -   Exhibitions

Between November 2nd,2019 and May 3rd, 2020, London’s Saatchi Gallery will hold an exhibition of the largest collection of King Tutankhamun’s treasures. ‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’ will celebrate the 100th anniversary since the British explorer Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon made the historic discovery.

When Carter and Carnarvon came across the boy king’s tomb, ‘Tutankhamun captured imaginations globally’ reads the Saatchi’s statement. King Tut’s tomb was, and remains, the only Ancient Egyptian royal tomb to have been found in tact and continues to fascinate individuals today. Despite King Tut’s successors’ attempts to erase his story from history, Carter’s persistence led him to the discovery of Tut’s legacy and treasures.


King Tutankhamun. Courtesy Flickr Commons.


The show, co-produced by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and IMG, will boast 150 original artefacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, 60 of which have never travelled outside of Egypt. Spanning nine galleries, the exhibition will employ a number of devices to create an immersive experience from digital content, contextual information, and audio to recreate King Tut’s journey into the afterlife.

‘The centennial of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history inspired us to create an exhibition like none before,’ said John Norman, managing director of exhibitions for IMG, in the Saatchi’s statement. ‘As millions get a final opportunity to see these ancient and exquisite objects in an immersive and personal context, we know Tutankhamun will continue to live large in the hearts of people around the world for generations to come.’


King Tutankhamun’s chariot from a 2009 exhibition in Munich. Courtesy Flickr Commons.


This show will in fact be the ‘final opportunity’ to see these objects outside of Egypt, too. London is the third stop for ‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’ as it continues to travel around the world. Having begun in Los Angeles, the show will conclude at Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which will become the artefacts’ final resting place. The GEM is near the Giza Plateau and only a few kilometres from the pyramids of Giza and expected to be completed in the near future. When the artefacts make their last stop in Cairo, they’ll join a collection of over 100,000 artefacts covering 3,000 years of history. The exhibition’s tour also coincides with the completion of a decade-long, extensive, and expensive conservation project to revitalize King Tut’s tomb and prepare it for generations to come.

‘Please see them, visit them, before they return back to Egypt forever,’ says Dr. Mostafa Waziry, secretary general of the Ministry of State for Antiquities in Egypt. The exhibition will bring visitors in contact, in a way, with the idea of the afterlife in Ancient Egypt. After all, ‘to speak his name is to make him live.’