In an exclusive report by Sydney Morning Herald, NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the museum would host the world’s “largest and most impressive” King Tut exhibition in early 2021.
Sydney will be one of only 10 cities it visits, marking the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.
The exhibition will feature more than 150 objects from King Tut’s tomb, including 60 treasures never previously displayed outside Egypt.
“The Tutankhamun exhibition is a game-changer for Sydney and Australia,” Mr Harwin said.
“As well as the transformed exhibition space, the refurbishment will also create new education facilities, enabling school student visitors to double to 100,000 a year – all completed in time to host the Tutankhamun exhibition.”
Naguib Kanawati, professor of Egytpology at Macquarie University, said the exhibition was an “incredible coup” for Australia.
“This is obviously an irreplaceable heritage and absolutely this is the last time these items will leave Egypt because they are packed up just while the Grand Museum is being built.”
Professor Kanawati said King Tut’s coffin would not be included in the artefacts because it is “pure gold and too heavy” to be moved.
“But we will get a miniature coffin, a canopic coffinette, which is where his liver was,” he said.
“There are four of those but just by getting one tells us everything we need to know.”
“The expanded touring exhibition halls will be able to accommodate up to 800,000 visitors during a blockbuster the size and scale of Tutankhamun.”
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