Friday, February 18, 2011


The ad for "Tutankhamen - His Tomb and His Treasures" tells us that "The Pharaoh is Coming", but did he really, I asked myself leaving the RDS in Dublin on the opening day of the exhibition.
At a glance, Dublin 4 hasn't seen this much bling since the height of the Celtic Tiger. But before any serious criminals start planning a Brinks type heist, don't bother, all the merchandise are replica's of the originals.
Don't let that put you off visiting however, all of the 1,000 artefact's have been painstakingly reproduced to scale by expert Egyptian craftsmen.
I'm a bit of a history buff so I was looking forward to visiting the exhibition. Egyptian history is not a subject I can claim to know a huge deal about, but with a little help from the Mummy movie franchise and Karl Pilkinton's Idiot abroad I have at least beginners knowledge of history's longest enduring civilisations.
Tutankhamun is the most famous of all the Egyptian Pharaohs for a number of reasons - not least that his tomb was the first that was found almost fully intact - all others were emptied of their treasures by thieves.
He died at the relatively young age of 18 but like all Pharaoh's he didn't go empty handed. His tomb was littered with stunning pieces of art and enough gold to pay off the debts of modern Irish banks.
Children will definitely enjoy the spectacle. Backed up by a stunning audio and visual display, images of the mummified remains of Tutankhamen and two still born children will no doubt fascinate and revile in equal measure.
This is an impressive exhibition which has seen over 2 million people pay through the doors since its inception in 2008. There are now three touring exhibitions roving the World.
Based on original photos and diary entries from the period, the exhibition tells of Howard Carter's painstaking journey to find the lost Pharoh's remains. After many year's of searching and shedding tons of Lord Carnarvan's dosh, Carter was about to give up on his dream after exhausting the Valley of the Kings.
He was to find the tomb of Tutankhamun in literally the only remaining slither of land that he hadn't searched. The exhibition brilliantly walks you through the moment he found the tomb and following process of detailing, photographing and of course the curse.
The only problem I would have with the exhibition is that there is always the over-riding knowledge that none of what you are looking at is real. That said don't let that stop you really is a stunning presentation of what is a riveting subject.
Tutankhamun his Tomb and Treasures opened on the 17th of February and runs till July. Packages are available at

Ollie McGrath

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