ATLANTA, GA – “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs,” a new National Geographic exhibition featuring more than 130 ancient Egyptian treasures, premieres tomorrow at the Atlanta Civic Center, where it will be on view through May 25, 2009. The exhibition, which will open with more than 100,000 tickets sold, features artifacts from the tomb of the celebrated pharaoh King Tutankhamun and other ancient sites representing 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. The exhibition in Atlanta is developed in partnership with the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University.
“Tutankhamun’s magic still captures the hearts of people all over the world, even though more than 85 years have passed since the discovery of his amazing tomb,” said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. “America has welcomed the golden king, and now he returns, bringing with him all the great pharaohs of Egypt. This exhibition will raise much-needed funds for the preservation of Egypt’s monuments and the construction and renovation of museums throughout the country. I always say that Egyptian antiquities are the heritage of the world, and that we are only their guardians.”
The touring exhibition is organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International, and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor of the tour, and American Airlines is the official airline.
The exhibition features an audio tour and National Geographic video documentary, both narrated by award-winning actor, Harrison Ford.
Proceeds from the tour will go toward antiquities preservation and conservation efforts in Egypt, including the construction of a new grand museum in Cairo.
“Egypt’s ancient treasures are among the world’s greatest cultural legacies,” said Terry Garcia, executive vice president, National Geographic Society. “Even with the great wealth of research that already exists, new technologies continue to open up the past in ways never imagined. Visitors to this exhibition will not only see stunning artifacts spanning 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, but they will also learn more about the life and death of Tutankhamun through recent CT scans conducted on his mummy.”
To correspond with the King Tut exhibition at the Atlanta Civic Center, a slate of Egyptian-themed experiences and programming will take place throughout the city, including “Wonderful Things: The Harry Burton Photographs and the Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun” at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. On view November 15, 2008, through May 25, 2009, this photography exhibition features 50 photographs taken by Harry Burton, the photographer who accompanied explorer Howard Carter on the Tutankhamun expedition and documented the moment-by-moment discovery of King Tut’s untouched tomb.
“The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb was an unforgettable moment in recent history. We look forward to highlighting, through educational programs and our special exhibition ‘Wonderful Things,’ the magic of that discovery and the profound impact it had on our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture and its significance today,” said Bonnie Speed, director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum.
Also during the exhibition run, Giant Screen Films will offer “Egypt 3D: Secrets of the Mummies,” a 22-minute, 3D movie presented by Dolby(R) 3D Digital Cinema that follows researchers and explorers as they piece together the archeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. The movie will show in a custom theater adjacent to the exhibition space every half-hour, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, seven days a week.
Additionally, more than 100 businesses throughout the city are participating in a “Tutlanta” affinity card that comes with King Tut ticket purchases, entitling cardholders to more than $900 worth of Egyptian-themed offerings and discounts at participating locations. A full listing of offers is available at http://www.tutlanta.com/ .
“Tutankhamun has been welcomed to Atlanta with open arms, which is evidenced by the outpouring of support from local businesses and community leaders, as well as rapid ticket sales for this new exhibition,” said John Norman, president, Arts and Exhibitions International. “There is an enduring interest in Egypt’s heritage, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Atlanta residents and visitors to see a collection of world treasures that represent a veritable who’s who of ancient Egypt.”
The exhibition is made possible in part by support from Northern Trust and American Airlines.
“For nearly 120 years, Northern Trust has strived to increase social interaction and a sense of community and integrate the arts into education and other outreach activities,” said Frederick H. Waddell, president and chief executive officer of Northern Trust Corporation. “We look forward to sharing this extraordinary event with the Atlanta community, as well as visitors from around the world.”
Exhibition organizers anticipate the exhibition will attract visitors throughout the region.
“American Airlines is thrilled to have a role in bringing ‘Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs’ to its Atlanta premiere,” said Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American Airlines. “As the official airline of the exhibition, we are pleased that American Airlines is helping to make it possible for these extraordinary objects to be seen by thousands of visitors.”
“Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” is the second National Geographic touring exhibition dedicated to the remarkable treasures of King Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian royalty. It will travel next to Indianapolis following the Atlanta run. The first exhibition, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” drew nearly 5 million visitors and broke records at the five venues it visited from June 2005 through August 2008, and recently began a three-city encore tour in Dallas.