Thursday, March 3, 2011
The Egyptian Museum, which dramatically served as the backdrop for the recent events in Tahrir Square, reopened last week, along with the Pyramids, and other archeological sites in Egypt.
I’m not sure exactly what kind of renovation has taken place over the last 20 years, but in 1991, my visit to the Egyptian Museum was unlike any other museum experience I’d ever had. I had already seen The Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition at the Met Museum some years earlier. The boy king’s New York debut, which famously introduced the phenomenon of the “blockbuster” museum show, came complete with elaborate sets, advance ticket sales, and long lines.
In Cairo, I was wandering amongst the same artifacts, but without the special effects and the hype. I’m pretty sure that everything I found fascinating about the experience--the quiet emptiness, the dank mustiness, the wood cabinets with drawers of artifacts, the atmospheric dust glistening in shafts of sunlight--would leave any museum director, curator, or conservator, cringing and infuriated. But for me, and a handful of other tourists, it was like we were literally “discovering” the treasures some archeologist had dug out of the ground. Very 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.'
I was only in Egypt for three days, so it was necessary to fly in order to visit Luxor and Valley of the Kings.
I can't seem to part with this translucent onion-skin receipt.
You can't help but drink lots of water.