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Sydney nabs amazing Tutankhamun blockbuster show

June 14, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

There are two ways of spelling his name and various ways of pronouncing it, but everyone has heard of the Egyptian boy pharaoh Tutankhamun, who is now expected to inject AUD 100 million to Sydney’s visitor economy, more than 3000 years after his death.

Huge demand is anticipated to see a blockbuster exhibition on the pharaoh in the Australian Museum.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet have confirmed the Australian Museum will expand its touring exhibition halls, opening with the largest and most impressive King Tutankhamun exhibition to ever leave Egypt.

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh features more than 150 objects from King Tut’s tomb, including 60 treasures never previously displayed outside Egypt. Tutankhamun began his reign aged nine and died at the age of about 18.

NSW Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, revealed Sydney would host the Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition in early 2021 for a six-month run at the Australian Museum.

British archaeologist Howard Carter and associates open the shrine doors in Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in 1923

“The Tutankhamun exhibition is a game-changer for Sydney and Australia. Sydney is the major cultural city in the Pacific/South East Asian region, and the significant upgrades to the Australian Museum will ensure we have world-class museum exhibition spaces for visitors as well as residents to enjoy,” Harwin said.

“As well as the transformed exhibition space, the refurbishment will also create new education facilities, enabling school student visitors to double to 100,000 a year – all completed in time to host the Tutankhamun exhibition,” he said.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the museum upgrade would deliver a boost to the culture economy.

“The Australian Museum is a national treasure and this expansion will not only bring the world’s biggest blockbuster exhibitions like Tutankhamun, it will also bring flow on benefits for local businesses,” Perrottet said.

“The expanded touring exhibition halls will be able to accommodate up to 800,000 visitors during a blockbuster the size and scale of Tutankhamun.

Image of the boy pharaoh

“This exhibition will include Egyptian artefacts that will never be seen again outside of Egypt following this world tour.”

Sydney forms part of a 10-city world tour to mark the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter. After Sydney, the exhibits will return to Egypt to be housed in the specially constructed Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza.

“Tens of thousands of overnight visitors are expected to travel to Sydney to see the Tutankhamun exhibition, which is a South East Asian exclusive,” Perrottet said. “We expect this amazing collection will bring in more than AUD 100 million to our visitor economy – an outstanding result for tourism in our State.”

Director and chef executive of the Australian Museum, Kim McKay said that the refurbishment was a critical step in the future development of the Australian Museum.

“Repurposing existing storage space will see the significant expansion of the touring exhibition halls to 1500 square metres across two levels – allowing the Museum to host either one big blockbuster or two exhibitions simultaneously,” Mckay said.

Edited by Peter Needham

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