An exhibition centred around Egypt’s Ramses the Great with 182 exquisite antiques direct from the pyramids and museums of Egypt will open at the Australian Museum in Sydney on Saturday.
This highly anticipated event Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs includes the sarcophagus of Ramses II – one of the most impressive royal coffins from ancient Egypt ever to be discovered – many of which have never left Egypt before and this one has only been to Paris before coming to Sydney.
After flying in from Egypt this morning to open the exhibition, Dr Mostafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Egypt, said he was looking forward to the exhibition reaching the ultimate 1 million visitors mark in the six months in Sydney, he was buoyed by the fact they have already pre-sold 100,000 tickets.
Around 1280 B.C., on the death of his father, Seti I, Ramses II, in his mid-twenties, became the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty. This formidable warrior, peacemaker, prodigious builder, self-publicist, husband of at least eight wives, and father to over 100 children ruled Egypt for the next 67 years.
Curator of the exhibition, renowned archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass said that one of the most wonderful things about this exhibition is that it reveals the world Ramses took over when he became pharaoh.
“Our modern world is so different from Ancient Egypt. With this exhibition visitors will be immersed in the world of Ramses and discover a completely different way of life.”
“Ancient Egypt is a part of history that continues to reveal itself and inspire people across the globe. Even today, the world is thrilled with each new discovery that’s unearthed. It holds an enduring fascination for us all,” Hawass said.
“Works of art – statues, jewellery, carvings – made by Ancient Egyptians were intended to honour and immortalise revered pharaohs. They’re well on their way to doing so, given so many still remain today, bringing their stories to life. These are just a few of the exquisite items included in the exhibition.”
“This is a rare opportunity for Australian audiences to discover the unique craftsmanship and sophistication of objects and artworks dating from within the Bronze Age of 3000 BCE to the Classical Age 1st century CE,” Hawass added.
The exhibition extends the visitor experience by including a thrilling Virtual Reality “ride” that takes you on a whirlwind tour of the Abu Simbel temples and the Tomb of Queen Nefertari. In cinematic motion chairs, visitors will fly through temples and sandstorms and even come face-to-face with Ramses’ mummy in this electrifying animated journey. It is well worth seeing and immersing yourself in the time.
Director and CEO, Australian Museum, Kim McKay AO said that Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs is the most prestigious cultural exhibition to be hosted by the AM in over a decade.
“Ramses the Great was a phenomenon – a beloved father, incomparable warrior, and prolific builder whose legacy is both political and cultural. Responsible for countless temples, pyramids and statues, the first ever Peace Treaty, and an enormous, influential family, the stories of Ramses have been retold through generations” McKay said.
“The era of Ramses the Great was also a time of incredible artistic innovation. This is all on display in this extraordinary exhibition through signature pieces including: the famous coffin of Ramses the Great, the priceless golden masks of Amenemope, the exquisite carved sarcophagi of Sennedjem, the extraordinary necklace of Psusennes, and mummified animals including cats, crocodiles, and even a lion cub.”
Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs opens to the public at the Australian Museum on Saturday 18 November 2023 and runs until 19 May 2024. For more information and for tickets go here.
Last Updated on Nov 16, 2023