LOS ANGELES (Dec. 1, 2004) — Marking the first time the treasures of Tutankhamun (King Tut) have visited America in 26 years, National Geographic, AEG Exhibitions and Arts and Exhibitions International, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, will bring an extensive exhibition of more than 130 treasures from the tomb of the celebrated pharaoh, other Valley of the Kings tombs and additional ancient sites to the United States on a 27-month tour beginning in Los Angeles on June 16, 2005.
“Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” will appear at the following venues:
– LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art): June 16 to November 15, 2005
– Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale: December 2005
– The Field Museum, Chicago: May 2006
– The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia: February 2007
“Since the discovery of his tomb in 1922, Tutankhamun has captured the hearts of people around the world. Buried with him were treasures beyond the imagination, giving us a glittering glimpse into the past,” said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and director of the Giza and Saqqara Pyramids. “It has been almost 30 years since the golden artifacts of the boy-king last left their home in Egypt. Now Tutankhamun is back, giving a new generation the chance to learn firsthand about the life and magic of this ancient monarch.”
The exhibition will include 50 major objects excavated from Tutankhamun’s tomb, including his royal diadem — the gold crown discovered encircling the head of the king’s mummified body that he likely wore while living — and one of the gold and precious stone inlaid canopic coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs.
More than 70 objects from other royal graves of the 18th Dynasty (1555 B.C.-1305 B.C.) will be showcased as well, including those of pharaohs Amenhotep ll and Thutmose lV and the rich, intact tomb of Yuya and Tuyu, parents-in-law of Amenhotep lll and great-grandparents of Tutankhamun. Yuya and Tuyu’s tomb was the most celebrated historical find in the Valley of the Kings until Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s undisturbed burial chamber in 1922. All of the treasures in the exhibit are between 3,300 and 3,500 years old.
“Egypt’s ancient treasures are among the world’s greatest cultural legacies, and we’re delighted that U.S. audiences will have an opportunity to view some of the most important artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb and other famous sites,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for mission programs. “The exhibit, which builds on National Geographic’s long and valued relationship with Egypt, will further promote cultural understanding between our two countries.” Revenue generated from the world tour will go toward preserving Egypt’s treasures and building a new Grand Museum in Cairo.
The exhibition will draw visitors back in time with inventive design and innovative technology, allowing viewers to explore and experience the world of King Tut. They will come face to face with his contemporaries, see and hear about the fascinating times in which the young king lived and learn how his short reign changed history. The exhibition also will feature National Geographic images and film footage about the golden age of the pharaohs.
Some of the treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb were last displayed in the United States during a seven-city tour from 1976 to 1979, which attracted some eight million visitors and set traveling exhibition attendance records. Both LACMA and The Field Museum hosted that original Tutankhamun tour and will once again participate in the new exhibition tour.
“We are honored to work with such a prestigious team of partners including National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International to bring this important exhibit to America,” said Timothy J. Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG. “As it travels from city to city, millions will have the opportunity to view into the reaches of the past and be impacted by the rich culture and history the artifacts represent.”
“Tutankhamun commands such universal appeal that we expect people of all ages to become engaged in the exhibit, especially as it bridges both art and cultural aspects of the time,” said John Meglen, president and CEO of Concerts West and officer, AEG Exhibitions.
“The previous King Tut tour in the 1970s was a major cultural phenomenon and to some extent coined the term ‘blockbuster,'” said John Norman, president of Arts and Exhibitions International. “This amazing exhibition promises to exceed everyone’s expectations, and we are confident we can set the ‘blockbuster’ standard for the next 25 years.”
National Geographic will publish a companion book to the exhibit in May 2005. “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” by Zahi Hawass will feature the fabulous artifacts found in Tutankhamun’s tomb and treasures of other 18th-Dynasty pharaohs.
For more information on the exhibition, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com/tut or www.KingTut.org.
Tickets to the exhibition at LACMA will go on sale to Museum members on Dec. 1, 2004 and to the general public in March 2005. For information or to purchase LACMA member tickets, please call 1-877-TUT-TKTS or visit www.KingTut.org or www.lacma.org. Availability in other markets will be announced in the coming months.
About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest nonprofit
scientific and educational organizations in the world. It reaches more than 280 million people worldwide each month through its five magazines, the National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, films, books, videos and DVDs, maps and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 7,500 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log onto nationalgeographic.com, AOL Keyword: NatGeo.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, Kodak THEATRE (as operator) and The Home Depot Center, numerous sports franchises throughout the world including the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings in addition to AEG LIVE and its live entertainment affiliates and subsidiaries. The company recently was selected to fully develop the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create new arenas within the Millennium Dome, on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin and in Kansas City, Missouri as well as stadium projects in Bridgeview, Illinois and New Jersey.
About AEG LIVE / AEG Exhibitions
AEG LIVE, the live-entertainment division of Los Angeles-based AEG, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance. AEG LIVE, the nation’s second largest concert promotion and touring company with five regional offices, also includes stand-alone affiliate divisions including: AEG LIVE Events, creators and producers of special events of all sizes; AEG-TV (formerly Spring Communications), devoted to creation and marketing of live events for television, DVD, pay-per-view, cinema and other electronic media and Creative Battery, producers of live entertainment for a variety of media and venues. AEG LIVE Tours & Special Events and AEG Exhibitions, the company’s national promotion divisions, currently are producing national tours and productions including Celine Dion’s A New Day… presented by Chrysler, a spectacular theatrical production starring Dion and directed by Franco Dragone now appearing at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Recently promoted national concert tours have included artists and groups including the Eagles, Usher, Fleetwood Mac, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera among others. Goldenvoice, the company’s southern California-based regional promotion division created and operates the award winning annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
About Arts and Exhibitions International
A private company founded in 2003 by President John Norman and International Vice President Andres Numhauser, AEI currently produces the award-winning exhibition “Diana: A Celebration” in association with the Althorp Estate in the United Kingdom. Norman and Numhauser have nearly 40 years combined experience in the entertainment and exhibition business, working over the years on such projects as “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit” and “Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes.” The company has relationships with the most important museums in the world and has presented traveling exhibitions on four continents. For more information, log onto www.artsandexhibitions.com.