CAIRO: Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) submitted a request to the Ashmolean museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford to borrow the currently on display personal collectibles of the original records, drawings and photographs of Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, Al-Ahram reported Monday.
The move comes in an attempt to boost the ailing tourism sector and encourage tourists to visit Egypt, Mohamed Shoukry of the TPA told The Cairo Post.
“If the request is approved, the collection of Howard Carter is scheduled to be displayed in a private section at the Egyptian museum,” said Shoukry who added that displaying Carter’s private collection in Egypt is “a reassuring message that Egypt is safe.”
The ‘Discovering of Tutankhamun’ exhibition, which runs from 24 July to 2 November 2014 features Carter’s letters, diaries, journals, object cards, archive materials and drawings and focuses on the story of the discovery of the tomb of Egypt’s Boy Pharaoh and the research that has been carried out on his life.
It also includes photographs taken by Harry Burton, the then archaeological photographer of the Times along with glass plate photographs of chairs and other furniture found in the tomb, currently on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Howard Carter (1874 –1939) was a British Egyptologist who became world famous after discovering the intact tomb of 14th-century B.C pharaoh Tutankhamun.
In 1959, Phyllis Walker, Carter’s favorite niece donated his material, including thousands of record cards and negatives to the Oxford University’s Griffith Institute after Carter died in 1939, former head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Abdel Halim Nour el-Din told The Cairo Post.
Two weeks before the inauguration of the exhibit, officials at the Ashmolean museum planned to ask the Egyptian tourism ministry to borrow a few treasures of Tutankhamun’s collection in the Egyptian museum but due to the shortage of time, it seems the idea was cancelled, Nour el-Din said.
“Carter’s records were used to create an exact replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb which was opened in Luxor in April. However, original watermelon seeds and almonds, which were found inside the tomb, are currently displayed in the exhibit,” Nour el-Din added.
The discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 in the west bank of Luxor was probably the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century as it contributed to a better appreciation of the ancient Egyptian civilization and a better understanding of burial customs in ancient Egypt.
“It is the only archaeological site in Egypt to be discovered intact with more than 1,200 artifacts including the Golden Mask, the icon of the Egyptian civilization that is currently on display in the Egyptian museum in Cairo,” tour guide and Egyptologist Magdy Mohsen told The Cairo Post.
Tutankhamun (1332 B.C – 1323 B.C), whose name means ‘Living Image of God’ Amun, was an 18th Dynasty pharaoh. He was the son of Pharaoh Akhenaten and ascended to the throne of Egypt at the age of nine before he was married to his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten.