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.