Monday, 31 January 2011

Low Expectations Meant an Unexpected Surprise

For the last few months, I've known about the Tutankhamun Exhibition at the Museum of Museums in Manchester. Initially, I poo-pooed the idea of checking it out. I envisioned a tent behind the Trafford Centre displaying cheap and tacky plastic replicas of the famous treasures. However, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Jo posted on her blog about her day trip there and she was very complimentary about it. This piqued my interest, so Nick & I went online and booked ourselves a pair of tickets.

We still went, expecting it to be a bit on the naff side but we were very much mistaken. For starters, it's not held in a pop up tent but a permanent building. We parked up and handed over our tickets at the entrance. There's an audio guide you carry around with you which lends a very modern touch to the whole experience.

We were guided in to watch a film in one room, then a larger room and another film. We were then herded into a darkened room which displayed the treasures as they were found. It felt a little disappointing as we only had a brief glimpse before the replica tombs were thrown back into blackness. What we hadn't realised and to our delight was that this was only meant to whet our appetites.

The replica treasures were in the next rooms and boy is it a large display all decked out in the most realistic, golden splendour. The whole effect just takes your breath away. You really can feel the awe of what it must have felt to discover the golden coffins and the mask of Tutankhamun. There was a lot to see and to take in. Believe me, if you go, it will tire you out. You could spend a whole day there.

We spent a good few hours there but still managed to find time afterwards, to go to the Trafford centre and check out the food hall in Selfridges. We came away with plenty of naughty treats including tobacco flavoured chocolate and Hershey's kisses which I'd never tried before. Finally, we plonked ourselves onto a bench, watching a fountain as we sipped on ice cool, freshly squeezed lemon juice. It was a perfect way to spend the day.

Oh yes & then I created a scrapbook page on it, which is what you see above.


Michele said...

Fab LO! Looks like a great day out - I've shown it to my hubby as he's really interested in Ancient Egypt and hadn't heard about the exhibition x

Hello From Texas said...

I'm glad you went and enjoyed it. It sounds like they put a good deal of effort into it so that the experience would be a close to the real thing as possible.

I had the extreme pleasure of seeing the actual artifacts back in the 70's when the first exhibition passed through the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. My mother was and is a patron and as such we were able to attend a Patron's Only evening. I stood inches from the mask and will never forget how incredible it felt to be so near an amazing piece of history and art. It was fabulous being able to walk freely about without the crowds that apparently made for a less enjoyable experience for the general public showings.

Maybe someday you will travel to Egypt and enjoy the actual items as well.