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King Tut: Listening to our visitors

December 11th, 2009

Public response to King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs has been overwhelmingly positive, with nearly 100,000 tickets sold thus far. Among the highlights according to visitors, King Tut’s funerary objects – the golden sandals and finger and toe coverings – as well as the golden jewelry (a particular favourite of young women). Visitors also like the tomb-like layout of the exhibition, the extensive historical information and the easily visible labels.

Some of our visitors who saw the 1979 King Tut exhibition at the AGO would have liked a return visit of King Tut’s golden death mask, which no longer leaves Egypt. However, the golden mask of Psusennes I in the current exhibition is an incredible example of a death mask. It is among the most valuable pieces in the exhibition and was discovered in the midst of World War II.

Some visitors are also asking about King Tut’s mummy, which, for preservation reasons, also never travels. While the National Geographic CT scan of the mummy provides a fascinating dimensional perspective, visitors can also get their “mummies’ worth” by catching the special 3-D movie, EGYPT 3D: Secrets of the Mummies, presented with Dolby 3D Digital Cinema technology. Part historic journey and part adventure, the film (a favourite with kids) follows explorers and researchers as they piece together archeological and genetic clues of the Egyptian mummies, including one of the greatest mummy finds in modern history. The film runs every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the AGO’s Jackman Hall and is $5 for members, $6 for general public.

Visitors are also joining or creating their own communities around things Tut. As an example, check out Heritage Key, a new website (it first appeared last May) that’s focused on ancient civilizations and archaeology. One member of this interactive community visited the AGO exhibition and blogged about a virtual tour of other ancient artifacts that don’t leave Egypt.

  • Mike

    The layout of the whole Tut exhibition is poorly designed to accept hundreds and hundreds of visitors per hour. People are constantly streaming to see this and even if you are there 1/2 hour in advance of your ticket’s schedule, you will spend at least 1/2 hour through the lines. You pretty much can’t see the exhibition at your own pace because there’s literally no room for you to go back and see again the artifacts if you wish so. You have to “go with the flow” and sometimes have to miss certain portions, because of the poor layout design. For a subject of such importance, AGO has done little to make the whole experience of viewing and understanding the artifacts truly enjoyable.

  • Mike

    The layout of the whole Tut exhibition is poorly designed to accept hundreds and hundreds of visitors per hour. People are constantly streaming to see this and even if you are there 1/2 hour in advance of your ticket’s schedule, you will spend at least 1/2 hour through the lines. You pretty much can’t see the exhibition at your own pace because there’s literally no room for you to go back and see again the artifacts if you wish so. You have to “go with the flow” and sometimes have to miss certain portions, because of the poor layout design. For a subject of such importance, AGO has done little to make the whole experience of viewing and understanding the artifacts truly enjoyable.