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Treasures of Tutankhamun will visit London before returning to Egypt ‘forever’

The Guardian of Ka statue from the famous tomb. (IMG)
The Guardian of Ka statue from the famous tomb. (IMG)

The treasures of Tutankhamun will be sent around the world to commemorate a century since his glittering tomb was discovered.

Egyptian ministers have urged people to see the pharaoh’s objects for his journey into the afterlife before they return to their home nation “forever”.

The exhibition will fund the future of the priceless objects on their return to Egypt.

Howard Carter unearthed the resting place of the Boy King in 1922, who told his financier Lord Carnarvon that he saw “wonderful things” as he peered into the ancient chambers beneath the Valley Of The Kings.

These wonderful things, many of which have never before left Egypt, will be brought to London as part of an international tour of the objects which sparked an international craze for “King Tut” on their discovery almost a century ago, and sensational rumours of a curse.

Hailed as “one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history”, Egyptian ministers are commemorating the find by allowing 150 priceless artefacts from the tomb, all of which are more than three millennia old, to be exhibited abroad.

A canopic coffinette for organ storage will form part of the exhibition (IMG/PA)

Dr Mostafa Waziry, secretary general of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities, said: “To celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, Egypt is sending 150 masterpieces to tour all over the world.

“Please see them, visit them, before they return back to Egypt forever.”

The ancient treasures will be housed in the Saatchi gallery in London, with an exhibition opening in November this year for the pieces from the only pharaonic tomb found fully intact.

Tutankhamun was the son of the religious revolutionary pharaoh Akhenaten, who discarded polytheism in favour of worshipping one god.

Tutankhamun ascended to the throne as a child in 1333BC, frail and with numerous health complaints, when New Kingdom Egypt was near its zenith.

Howard Carter and an Egyptian workman examine the third coffin of Tutankhamun made of solid gold, inside the case of the second coffin (Harry Burton/PA)

Speculation remains as to the cause of his death, though many scientists believe it was the result of an accident and possibly a subsequent infection.

Backed by funds from Lord Carnarvon, Egyptologist Carter oversaw the excavation of the young pharaoh’s tomb 3,245 years after his death, following an almost accidental discovery.

This find brought to light almost perfect preserved artefacts from a vanished civilisation, which will go on display in the Saatchi Gallery as part of an exhibition produced by IMG.

John Norman, director at IMG, said: “The centennial of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history inspired us to create an exhibition like none before.

“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.”

Following the tour, the funerary objects will return to the land where the pharaoh was laid to rest, and will go on permanent display at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be partly funded by the world tour.

Gilded Wooden shrine with scenes of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun (Laboratoriorosso Viterbo/PA)

Previous exhibitions in 1972 and 2007 drew huge London crowds to see the treasures of Tutankhamun.

The planned tour will contain 100 more artefacts than these exhibitions.

Philippa Adams, director of Saatchi Gallery, said: “The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb is a timeless story known throughout the world.

“We are thrilled and honoured to be hosting this culturally significant exhibition.”

Tutankhamun: Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh opens on Saturday November 2 2019

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