Bringing Egypt to downtown Kitchener

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

On May 15, THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener welcomed the Unwrapping Egypt exhibit, which hosts approximately 400 replications of ancient artifacts beginning with early Egyptian culture and expanding into Cleopatra VII’s endeavour to generate a coalition with the Roman Empire.

Busts of Marcus Antonius and Julius Caesar are intriguing features of the eventual Roman association. However, the allure of this exhibition originates from the vast display of treasures owned by the legendary King Tutankhamun.

King Tut’s burial chamber seemingly vanished from existence until the 1920s, when it was finally rediscovered amongst the rubble of King Ramesses VI’s tomb. This rather recent unearthing of the young King’s short reign makes viewing his intricate, gold encased belongings incessantly captivating.

Detailed artifacts such as King Tut’s many thrones — the smallest of which accommodated the Pharaoh at approximately nine years old — as well as his detailed sarcophagus showcase his lavish lifestyle.

The exhibit is large, encompassing the third and fourth floors of the venue. Visitors are permitted to walk freely between the artifacts which have corresponding educational descriptions of cultural significance next to each object.

Incredibly, Egyptian artwork can be found along the walls, and much of these paintings contain hieroglyphic scripture. THEMUSEUM guests are transported to another era as characters painted into these creations evolve with time. From the first recorded comic strip in history, to complex mathematical calculations, Unwrapping Egypt’s many compositions clearly narrate a developmental sequence.

On the fourth floor, as the exhibition comes to an end, there is a small gift shop where guests are able to purchase beautiful Egyptian-style perfume bottlesand papyrus paper, which talented artists in Cairo, Egypt have created and decorated.

Notably, a Cairene named Tarek was elated to thoroughly explain the process of papyrus production. Tarek has followed this Unwrapping Egypt tour extensively from regions such as Puerto Rico to North America.

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

“We want people to come [visit the exhibit] every day. It is not that expensive; to see something like this you would have to fly to Cairo,” he said.

Fortunately, the exhibit will be open to the public until January 2015.

If you have ever wondered where Pharaohs brains are placed during the mummification procedure, what an Egyptian chariot glazed with gold looks like, questioned the durability of papyrus paper or simply speculated what King Tut’s height was before he died suddenly at 19-years-old, Unwrapping Egypt exposes these ancient truths in a captivating amalgamation of culture and history: a mini Cairo in downtown Kitchener.


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