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November 24, 2009 - April 18, 2010 November 21 & 22: Opens to Members Only (time-ticketed)

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King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs Fact Sheet

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When is King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs coming to the AGO?

The exhibition opens to AGO members (so consider becoming a member) on Nov. 21, 2009, and Nov. 24 for the general public. The exhibition runs through April 18, 2010 and will be time-ticketed to reduce waiting times and ensure an enjoyable experience for all.

How many objects will be in the AGO exhibition?

More than 100 artifacts; approximately half are from King Tut’s tomb and half relate to other important pharaohs throughout 2000 years of ancient Egyptian history. Through treasures that showcase the lives and splendor of the Egyptian pharaohs, viewers will get a sense of how life – and art – evolved over generations and under various rulers.

How much are tickets?

Ticket prices for the general public range from $16.50 on weekdays (ages 6 to 17; ages 5 and under are free) to $32.50 on weekends (adult) and includes access to the permanent collection. There are also discounts for up to three youth 6-17, group rates and AGO member rates.

Why do memberships not include free access to the Tut exhibition?

From time-to-time, the AGO will mount extraordinary exhibitions jointly with other institutions and exhibitors. King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is one of these.

The massive costs of organizing, insuring and presenting these exhibitions are covered in large part by special tickets (above normal admission) for all visitors. For our loyal members, the AGO is offering generous discount opportunities, a limited number of free tickets and front-of-house access so members can book their visits before any other group or the general public has access. As always, members continue to enjoy free and unlimited admission to the AGO’s permanent collection galleries.

When was the 1979 AGO Tut show held?

Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 1979.

How much larger is this show than the one from 1979?

This exhibition is more than twice the size of the 1979 show, representing 2,000 years of ancient Egypt and some of the most important rulers.

Are there any objects in this show that were in the 1979 show?

There are three objects that visited as part of the 1979 exhibition, but the majority had never traveled to North America before this tour. The three are the canopic (miniature) coffinette, earrings in the shape of ducks, and a leopard-head decoration.

The Egyptian government selected which pieces would leave the country to be part of the exhibition. Those selected best illustrate the life and times of King Tut and to convey a deeper context and storyline about the lives and times of ancient Egyptians than was possible during the 1979 exhibition.

What are some the major objects in this show?

  • The largest image of King Tut ever unearthed; a 10-ft statue found at the remains of the funerary temple of two of his high officials
  • A dazzling and intricate canopic [miniature] coffinette that held King Tut’s mummified stomach
  • A bed that King Tut most likely used in life
  • The gold death mask of Psusennes I [sue-SEN-ees]
  • An imposing colossal bust of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), King Tut’s probable father (Ahk-NAH-ten)

Are any objects newly/recently discovered?

The figure of Kai and his children was found at Giza about 22 years ago.

More recently, in 1992, the tomb of Inty-shedu was unearthed by Dr. Zahi Hawass and team, and the multiple figures of this individual at various stages throughout his life are on display within the Pharaoh’s Court section of the exhibition.

How many gold objects are there in the exhibition?

There are approximately 30 gold objects – all gold or partially gold (and that doesn’t include objects that are gilt, coloured gold or polychromed gold).

Will King Tut's death mask return?

The death mask is now considered too fragile to travel and is housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to ensure its preservation. But the extraordinary death mark of Psusennes I is a feature of the exhibition.

Will there be any mummies in the AGO exhibition?

This exhibition does not contain mummies but there are CT scans of King Tut's mummy as well as two coffins (sarcophagi) -- the Inner Anthopoid Coffin of Queen Meritamun (wife of the first king of the 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep I) and of Prince Thutmose's cat, (18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III). The latter is a very popular piece because of the beautiful carving, and is a favorite of young visitors.

Where is King Tut's mummy/sarcophagi?

Tut's mummy and his two coffins are too fragile to travel. The outer coffin is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the inner coffin remains in the tomb in the Valley of the Kings; neither has travelled outside of Egypt. Tut's mummy has never travelled and remains in the tomb in a specially constructed Perspex case to protect his fragile body for future generations.

Is this the same exhibit that has been touring America/London? How is this different?

This is an entirely different collection of artifacts presented by the same organizers. It has been seen only in Vienna and Atlanta, Georgia so far, with one additional viewing in Indianapolis before it opens at the AGO.

King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs spans 2,000 of history and highlights some of the most significant rulers of ancient Egypt, whereas the other exhibition focuses on the time period of King Tut and his direct family during the 18th Dynasty. Through artifacts that showcase the lives and splendor of the Egyptian pharaohs, viewers will get a sense of how life – and art – evolved over generations and under various rulers.

Is there an audio guide for the exhibition?

Yes, there is an audio tour narrated by award-winning actor Harrison Ford available for a minimal additional charge, as well as a written version of the guide for the hearing impaired.

Why is the AGO hosting this exhibition instead of the Royal Ontario Museum?

This exhibition features 2000 years of art made in ancient Egypt, including highly crafted objects rich in symbolism and historical significance. It is through the art of Ancient Egypt that we have come to know so much about their family, religious beliefs, and political structures. We will share these interesting stories through this exhibition.

The AGO was home to King Tut’s treasures 30 years ago and the visit of this new exhibition will be a wonderful reunion. Especially in light of our recent transformation, the AGO had the perfect available space for the golden king’s return.

Where is the exhibition going after the AGO?

The AGO will be the sole Canadian destination. Organizers are working to finalize the schedule and will announce other U.S. cities in coming months.

Who is organizing this exhibition?

The exhibition is organized by the National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International (AEI) and AEG Exhibitions with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. A portion of proceeds from this exhibition will go toward antiquities preservation and conservation efforts in Egypt, including the construction of a new grand museum in Cairo.

AEI has many years of experience organizing major museum exhibitions, and with its deep ties to Egypt, National Geographic is providing content as well as context for the artifacts. Dr. David P. Silverman, the Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. professor and curator at the University of Pennsylvania, is the curator, advisor and academic content creator for the exhibition.

Last modified on May 3, 2010

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The exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Northern Trust is a proud cultural partner. American Airlines is the official airline of the exhibition. Additional financial support is provided by the Government of Ontario.