Skip to comments.King Tut Exhibit Could Prove to Be Gold Mine (Coming to the USA in 2005 for 27 month/4 city tour)
Posted on 12/03/2004 7:41:03 PM PST by NormsRevenge
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The gilded treasures of King Tutankhamun are on their way back to the United States in what could prove a gold rush for Egypt and big business.
"Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" starts a 27-month tour of the United States in June 2005 that will mark the first return here in more than two decades of the precious artifacts buried with the mysterious boy king.
The exhibit is twice the size of the late-1970s King Tut global tour which launched an era of "blockbuster" museum exhibitions. This year's version will charge up to $30 per ticket and give corporate backers a share in the profits, heralding a new trend in partnerships between private companies, museums and the antiquities' home countries.
"It is a new business model. It seems like a lot of museums have trouble financially in organizing major exhibits. The costs are getting really exorbitant," said John Norman, president of Arts and Exhibitions International, one of the companies providing the funding.
AEI is joined by Anschutz Entertainment Group, which operates sports stadiums, promotes pop concerts and theatrical productions, and National Geographic (news - web sites) magazine.
The three entities will finance the entire costs of shipping, designing, installing and marketing the King Tut exhibit, and share profits with participating museums and Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The concept is a major departure from the more philanthropic business sponsorship of the arts that gave new life to orchestras, theaters and art galleries in the late 20th century.
Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said he hoped Egypt would clear about $10 million in each of the four U.S. cities hosting the exhibit.
Hawass said the money will go toward building a new Grand Museum in Cairo as well as preserving other ancient Egyptian monuments such as the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Tutankhamun ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago from the age of eight until his death as a teenager. His tomb, packed with golden treasures, was discovered in Luxor's Valley of the Kings in 1922 by British archeologist Howard Carter.
Organizers expect that up to three million people will visit the coming U.S. exhibit, which is commanding some of the highest ticket prices ever seen. Tickets for the an adult range from $15 to $30 dollars on the first stop at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Organizers defended the price, comparing it to the cost of a movie and dinner, or a ticket to the theater or a pop concert.
"Where can you go as an adult for $30 and see ancient Egyptian artifacts that are valued at over $650 million?," said Norman. "It is unfortunate that museums can't be free anymore, but those are the economics."
Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and director of the Giza Saqqara Pyramids, announces Dec. 1, 2004 that more than 130 treasures of Tutankhamun (King Tut), other Valley of the Kings tombs and ancient sites will return to the United States on a 27-month tour beginning in Los Angeles on June 16, 2005. The exhibition will include 50 major objects excavated from Tutankhamun's tomb, including his royal diade, the gold crown he likely wore while living between 3,300-3,500 years ago. (Reuters - Handout)
How to invest?
i got to see the 1970's tut exhibit.
I'll have to try to catch this!
Could've won a Grammy...
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will appear at the following venues:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 16 to November 15, 2005
Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, December 2005
Chicago Field Museum, May 2006
I'm looking for the 4th..
I caught the King Tut in the Cairo Museum in the late 80s,, missed it when it was here in the 70s.
Buried in his jammies...
Chicago's Field Museum
My son's all excited about it. Hope it is less than $30 a person.
...he gave his life for tourism...
It was very cool.
I'm going to try to catch this when it comes to Chicago.
thanks for the head's up!
Born in Babylonia, moved to Arizona...
That is a great museum.. I enjoyed my visit their immensely.
A Gold Pass or yearly family ticket may be the way to go on this one.
The 4th has to be New York given the first three locations. I would have liked the fourth to be Houston or Dallas.
Somewhere in the south would have been nice. Of course, they probably thought us Christian hick red-staters wouldn't support it.
I suspect New York as well.
But they should really consider doing Branson or Atlanta
Isn't it a tad pathetic what our brains can conjure up? LOL
I'm pretty sure that's owned by the (conservative) Philip Anschutz.
He's a billionaire who founded Qwest Communications and is a Christian.
Is it swingin' by Dallas?
Thanks for the info. I would love to invest but it looks like it's not publicly traded...
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