King Tut Rises Again... In Times Square
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The King is back, and we don't mean Elvis. After a 31-year absence, the King Tut exhibition returned to New York as the final stop on a U.S.-tour.
The massive new show of Egyptian antiquities, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs, displays 130 artifacts dating back to around 1324 B.C., 50 of which come from his burial tomb.
The show also presents new DNA research that delves into the reasons for the young pharaoh's death. Scientists once thought he died as a result of foul play. Now they believe the young royal died from a broken leg and bad case of malaria at the age of 18 or 19.
The King Tut exhibit first came to New York in 1979, when it drew 1.8 million visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This time around, however, the famed golden burial mask will not make the trip from Eqypt due to its fragile nature.
For someone that's been dead for more than 3,000 years, King Tut gets a lot of media play: movies, SNL references, his own Monopoly board and a major shout out in the '80s music video, "Walk Like An Eqyptian."
While he's been around the pop culture block a few times, some say the Times Square exhibition space is inappropriate for the materials.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General on Egypt’s Supreme Council Of Antiquities, expressed his disappointment with the show's location at the Discovery Center in Times Square, which he called "commercial."
"King Tut with here 30 years ago and these priceless artifacts should be at the Met, and not in this hall," says Hawass.
John Norman, President of Arts & Exhibitions International, says funding issues drove the decision for the exhibition's location.
The King Tut exhibition runs until January 2, 2011.