This Friday, La Grande Halle de La Villette in Paris will open an exhibition featuring 181 objects from the Kingdom of Pharaoh Ramses II.
The restored funerary mask of Egyptian King Amenemope is one of the objects on display until September 6th.
“It’s an absolutely extraordinary object, extremely fragile, extremely well restored, because originally this mask was sitting on a wooden core that disappeared. So we had to rebuild the support without damaging the gold leaf. And then it’s an absolutely extraordinary object. It’s even hard to believe that this object is actually here”, said curator Dominique Farout.
The collection is one of the most impressive displays of ancient Egyptian culture ever exhibited in France, illustrating the pharaonic grandeur of Ramses II, with spectacular and immersive installations.
“You know, especially nowadays, we are in a world that is always moving. And this feels like… somehow like balance, immutability. I don’t know… like tranquillity. It’s beautiful. And it’s thousands of years old. Well, I must confess, I’m getting chills although I should be used to it!”, beamed the curator.
Some of the objects are over three thousand years old and are being exhibited for the first time outside Egypt.
“So we have here some fairly notable examples of the jewellery that could be found in the Middle Kingdom, in other words in the classical period of ancient Egypt. It’s around 2000 BC and it’s the golden age of this type of jewellery called cloisonné. This means that you have a whole network of gold leaves in which gems are included. So we have, for example, turquoise, lapis lazuli, amethyst, so stones that were considered by the Egyptians to be eminently precious”, said Old Egypt expert Bénédicte Lhoyer.
In 2019, an exhibition dedicated to Tutankhamun attracted more than 1.4 million visitors.