A major exhibition showing artefacts discovered in the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun in Paris has broken visitor records for any French exhibition, after its show time was extended to meet its unprecedented levels of demand.
The La Villette Hall in Paris has issued over 1.3 million tickets for “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh”, its organizers announced on Tuesday. More than 130,000 tickets had been sold before doors opened in March.
The exhibition featured the largest number of Tutankhamun artefacts to ever leave Cairo and was hailed as a “once in a generation” event regarding the Egyptian King. It opened its doors earlier this year on March 23 and was scheduled to close mid-September but was given a one-week extension to meet the increasing demand.
King Tut has generally seen great interest in the French capital, with a 1967 show at the Petit Palais in Parais that also broke attendance records at the time and attracted more than 1.2 million visitors. The show will be leaving Paris soon to make its way to London, where it will open in November at the Saatchi Gallery, and then continue its world tour through 2024.
One main attraction to the exhibition is the statue of the guardian that protected the burial chamber. The objects that were guarded, and on display in the show, include a gold inlaid miniature coffin that held the King’s liver after it was removed during the mummification process, a gilded wooden bed with carved lion feet, likely made specifically for Tutankhamun’s funeral, and a gilded wooden shrine showing intimate scenes of royal domestic harmony.
The show overall features more than 150 treasures collected from the King’s tomb, including 60 major pieces that have never left Egypt before. The collection’s ownership is being transferred to the new Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids at Giza, which is scheduled to open next year.
The Louvre in Paris has also loaned one of its major Tutankhamun works to the show, a statue of Amon, the King of the Gods, protecting the pharaoh. Proceeds of the show are being shared with the Egyptian antiquities ministry.