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King Tut Ticket Sales Surpass 100,000

(TORONTO – December 22, 2009) Public response to the Canadian exclusive of King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with more than 100,000 tickets sold since they became available just under three months ago.

As a result, and to accommodate continued high demand, the Art Gallery of Ontario will continue extended evening hours through Jan. 31, 2010, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 9:30 p.m. (last entry is 8 p.m.). In addition, the King Tut exhibition as well as the Gallery will be open until 5:30 p.m. Family Day, Monday, Feb. 15.

The AGO is also introducing a special dinner and exhibition package through Jan. 31. “Tut at Twilight” offers the option of an Egyptian-inspired dinner at FRANK restaurant (featuring roasted rack of lamb with pomegranate) or the celebrated main menu fare, together with a ticket to King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs the same evening for $75 per person. Dinner seatings are 5:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. with timed exhibition entrance 90 minutes before dinner.

“‘Tut at Twilight’ is a great opportunity to enjoy a superb meal and experience the wonders of ancient Egypt,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s director and CEO. “The largest number of visitors, especially those with families, tends to visit during the daytime, particularly on weekends. Our extended evening hours and ‘Tut at Twilight’ are designed for those who want a more intimate experience while visiting the exhibition.”

Featuring more than 50 treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb and artifacts representing other important pharaohs and notables, the exhibition includes recent scientific research about King Tut. The exhibition focuses on the splendour of the Egyptian pharaohs, their function in the earthly and divine worlds, and what kingship meant to the Egyptian people.

Among exhibition highlights are the golden mask of Psusennes I and King Tut’s funerary objects including the golden sandals and finger and toe coverings - as well as the golden jewelry (a particular favourite of young women).

While King Tut’s mummy has never left Egypt, the exhibition includes recent CT scans of the mummy and scientific discoveries that emerged from a landmark Egyptian research and conservation project partially funded by National Geographic that provides new insight into King Tut’s legendary life and death.

And a special 3-D movie, EGYPT 3D: Secrets of the Mummies, presented with Dolby 3D Digital Cinema technology, is giving visitors their “mummies’ worth.” Part historic journey and part forensic adventure, the film follows explorers and researchers as they piece together archeological and genetic clues of the Egyptian mummies. A favourite with children, it runs every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Jackman Hall, $5 for members, $6 for general public.

King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is organized by the National Geographic Society, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will go toward antiquities preservation and conservation efforts in Egypt, including the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Northern Trust is a proud cultural partner of the tour, and American Airlines is the official airline.

Ticket and Visitor Information

Information and tickets to the exhibition at the AGO can be found at www.ago.net/kingtut or by calling 416-979-6648 (1-877-225-4246 toll free). Tickets are also available in person at the AGO box office, 317 Dundas St West.

Special discounted and/or free tickets are available to AGO members at the members’ box office, at www.ago.net/kingtut-membership or by calling 416-979-6620. Special group/school group ticket price information is available at www.ago.net/group-offers-for-king-tut.

Hotel packages including VIP tickets that do not require pre-reserved times and dates are available at www.ago.net/kingtut-hotel-packages.

Special Tut Holiday Hours:

Thursday, Dec. 24 – 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 25 – Closed
Monday, Dec. 28 – 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 31 – 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 1 – noon to 5 p.m.

Tut Talks in the Community

Learn more about the boy king and his fellow pharaohs with Tut Talks – free presentations about the exhibition and ancient Egypt. Offered through February 2010, the AGO is partnering with five graduate students in Egyptology from the University of Toronto to offer these first-come-first-serve presentations anywhere in the Toronto area, complete with images from the King Tut exhibition. For more information or to schedule a presentation, contact Tara Turner: tara_turner@ago.net, 416-979-6660 x-5946.

King Tut Lectures @ the AGO

Hear from the experts in Egyptology and all things Tut in a six-lecture series at the AGO’s Jackman Hall. Starting Jan. 27 and every Wednesday night through March 3 you’ll learn more about the life, art, science, fashion, religion and politics of ancient Egypt, featuring Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner, Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Toronto; David Silverman, National Curator for the King Tut exhibition and the Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Professor and Curator at the University of Pennsylvania; Katja Goebs, Associate Professor, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto; Ronald J. Leprohon, Professor of Egyptology, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto; Gayle Gibson, Educator, Royal Ontario Museum; and Roberta Shaw, former Assistant Curator of Egyptology, Royal Ontario Museum. And don’t miss Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, who will speak at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall on March 6, 2010. For more information, check www.ago.net/kingtut.

King Tut Promotional Partners

The AGO is very grateful for the support of our partners. Promotional Partners for the AGO exhibition are: Chapters Indigo; Jackson-Triggs; Loblaws; Starwood Hotels: Le Meridien King Edward, The Sheraton Centre and The Westin Harbour Castle - official hotel sponsors; Tourism Toronto; and the TTC. Media Partners are CTV and the Globe and Mail. Government Partners are the Province of Ontario and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership. Other hotel partners: Delta Chelsea; The Fairmont Royal York; InterContinental Toronto Centre; and The Hilton Toronto.

ABOUT THE AGO

With a permanent collection of more than 79,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public amid international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery’s façade; and the feature staircase, spiralling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic new African art gallery; from David Altmejd's monumental installation The Index to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.

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For media information or visuals, please contact:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660, ext. 454, antonietta_mirabelli@ago.net
Sean O’Neill, 416 979 6660, ext. 403, sean_oneill@ago.net

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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