In a rare exhibition of Egyptian relics here, the National Museum of Korea in Ichon-dong is showing over 200 ancient artifacts in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Austria.
"We have organized this exhibition so that Koreans do not have to go all the way to other countries to see Egyptian civilization. There have been some similar shows here, but they mostly exhibited digital data. At this exhibition, viewers can find the original relics," Choe Kwang-sik, director of the museum, said about "Egypt, The Great Civilization."
The relics are from the Austrian museum`s world-class Egyptian Collection.
Among the collection`s 12,000 artifacts from the Neolithic age to the Roman Empire, 231 pieces, including four original mummies, are here for display.
The exhibition is divided into four divisions - "Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt," "Son of God, Pharaoh," "Life in Ancient Egypt," and "The Way to Eternity."
The first three sections consist of images of deities, busts of Pharaohs, amulets, jewelry, hieroglyphic papyri and various everyday tools that were used in ancient Egypt.
The highlight of the exhibition, the mummies, is showcased in the last division.
The Mummy Neskhonsu from 760-656 B.C., covered in multiple layers of bandages and finally laid in a colorfully decorated cartonnage, is the first visitors will see.
"A tomography result showed that the mummy was identified as a woman who died around 30 while giving birth. Her twin babies were mummified with her. The twins must have died during or right after their birth," explained curator Yang Hee-jeong.
The final exhibit is another mummy of a woman from the seventh century B.C who is assumed to have died in her early 20s. It lies silently in a glass showcase, without a cartonnage this time. Visitors can take a glimpse of its blackened face and toes through a hole on the bandage layer.
"Grave robbers probably ripped it open in search of gold. But so far, no mummies were discovered with faces covered in gold, as some rumors said they would be," said Yang.
To help visitors understand Egyptian civilization, holograms and 3D videos are shown along with many of the exhibits.
The exhibition runs through Aug. 30. Tickets range from 3,000 won to 10,000 won. The museum is located at Ichon Subway Station, line 4, exit 2. For more information, call (02) 2077-9199 or visit www.museum.go.kr.
By Park Min-young