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The King Has Landed at the Art Gallery of Ontario

King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs opens to the public

(TORONTO - November 24, 2009) The wait is over. More than 30 years after the Art Gallery of Ontario first brought the treasures of the Egyptian boy king to Toronto, a new exhibition-King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs-opens to the public at 10 am today and continues through April 18, 2010.

The AGO is the sole Canadian venue for the exhibition tour, and offers the only chance to see these artifacts in Canada before they are returned to Egypt. The exhibition is twice the size of the '79 King Tut show and features more than 100 artifacts from the tomb of King Tut and other important pharaohs throughout 2000 years of ancient Egyptian history. Almost all of the artifacts are making their first appearance in Canada.

"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," says Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "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 exhibition is organized by National Geographic, 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.

"As we mark the first anniversary of our transformation, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is a great opportunity for young and old to both experience the treasures of ancient Egypt and explore extraordinary art and architecture at the AGO," says Matthew Teitelbaum, director and CEO. "We know from other venues on this tour that up to 50 percent of the visitors are making their first visit to the museum. Together with the boy king we are welcoming new audiences to great art and a great art museum."

The exhibition features a National Geographic video documentary and audio tour narrated by Hawass and actor Harrison Ford.

"Egypt's ancient treasures are among the world's greatest cultural legacies," says 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 2000 years of ancient Egyptian history, but they will also learn more about the life and death of Tutankhamun through CT scans conducted on his mummy."

Teachers and students in the province of Ontario and beyond have a unique opportunity to learn about King Tut with the AGO's comprehensive on-line resource, featuring a variety of lessons focusing on ancient Egyptian art and history for students in grades 4-12. These materials are available free of charge at www.ago.net/education. All lessons can be used on their own in the classroom or in conjunction with a visit to the exhibition. For students visiting the King Tut exhibition, the resource provides pre- and post-visit lessons. For students who are unable to visit the exhibition, each lesson can be conducted in the classroom and supported by related resources including information, images and interactive activities. All lessons are linked to the Ontario curriculum for grades 4-12.

Northern Trust is a proud cultural partner of the tour, and recently donated 200 VIP tickets to the Kids Up Front Foundation for distribution to children in the Toronto area. American Airlines is the official airline.

"Corporate citizenship has been a focus at Northern Trust since our founding 120 years ago and we are committed to supporting the communities we serve," says Robert Baillie, president and CEO of Northern Trust, Canada and chairman, president and CEO of Northern Trust Global Advisors. "We are proud to uphold this legacy by helping to bring this important exhibition to Toronto. We look forward to sharing this fascinating educational experience with millions of people, locally and from around the world."

"American Airlines is thrilled to have a role in bringing King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs to Toronto," says Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American Airlines. "As the official airline of the tour, we are pleased that American Airlines is helping to make it possible for these extraordinary objects to be seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors."

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
At the AGO through April 18, 2010, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs features striking artifacts from some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, from the 4th Dynasty into the Late Period (about 2600 B.C. - 660 B.C.). Derived from a variety of contexts, including temples and royal and private tombs, most of these artifacts had never visited North America prior to this exhibition tour.

Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt's 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period of Egyptian history. The boy king died under mysterious circumstances around age 18 or 19, in the ninth year of his reign (1323 B.C.).

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

Four galleries devoted to King Tut correspond to the four rooms of his nearly intact tomb, where the treasures were discovered by British explorer Howard Carter in 1922. Legendary artifacts from the antechamber, the annex, the treasury and the burial chamber include King Tut's golden sandals, jewelry, furniture and statuary.

A special area features CT scans of the boy king that were obtained as part of a landmark, Egyptian research and conservation project, partially funded by National Geographic, that will CT-scan the ancient mummies of Egypt. The scans were captured through the use of a portable CT scanner, donated by Siemens Medical Solutions, which allowed researchers to compile the first three-dimensional picture of Tutankhamun and discover more about his life and death.

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 Street West.

Tickets are timed and advance reservations are strongly recommended to secure desired date and time, which must be selected at time of purchase. The exhibition will stay open for 90 minutes past the last ticket.

The exhibition will be open during the following times:
Tuesday - 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday - 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday and Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m (evening hours through Jan. 3, 2010)
Saturday - 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (evening hours through Jan. 3, 2010)
Sunday - 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Special Holiday Hours:
Thursday, Dec. 24 -10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 25 - Closed
Monday, Dec. 28 - 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 1 - noon to 5 p.m.

Ticket Prices:
 
Ticket Type
Weekdays
Weekends and Holidays
Adults (18 to 65)
$28.50
$32.50
Youth (6 to 17)
$16.50
$18.50
Seniors (over 65)
$24.50
$28.50
Students (with ID)
$16.50
$18.50
Families (2 adults & 2 youth)
Each Additional Youth
$80
$10
$90
$12
Children
FREE
FREE
Members
$15
$20
Youth Members
$11.25
$12.75

All prices are inclusive of GST. Tickets include admission to the permanent collection during regular gallery hours.

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.

ADDITIONAL KING TUT PROGRAMMING AT THE AGO
Hear, See and Read the Story
A companion audio tour narrated by award-winning actor Harrison Ford will be available for $5 for members, $6 to general public.

Visitors can enhance their King Tut experience through a 3D journey to Egypt, with EGYPT 3D: Secrets of the Mummies, presented with Dolby 3D Digital Cinema technology. Part historic journey and part forensic adventure, audiences follow explorers and researchers as they piece together archeological and genetic clues of the Egyptian mummies, including one of the greatest mummy finds in modern history. A favourite with children, it runs every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in Jackman Hall, $5 for members, $6 for general public.

Visit shopAGO for your keepsake catalogue to the exhibition - Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. This beautiful, full-colour book showcases the glory and mystery of ancient Egyptian history. By Dr. Zahi Hawass with photographs by Sandro Vannini, the hardcover book, published by National Geographic, is $59.95. AGO members receive a 10% discount.

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. From November 2009 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, ext. 5946.

King Tut Lectures at the AGO
Hear from the experts in Egyptology and all things Tut in a six-lecture series at the AGO's Jackman Hall. Starting January 27 and running 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. For more information, check www.ago.net/kingtut . Tickets: for AGO members $15/general public$18/students$12. Save 10% on a package of six: members $80/general public $98/ students $65. Also scheduled, Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, will speak at the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall on March 6; AGO members $15, general public $18, students $10.

Toys for Tuts
During the upcoming holiday, meet Tutty Bear in shopAGO - a six-foot teddy bear wearing a King Tut headdress. He invites AGO visitors to bring a new, unwrapped gift for CTV's Toy Mountain, and get 10% off in the shop. The toys will be distributed this holiday season to deserving kids by the Salvation Army.

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:

Sean O'Neill, 416 979 6660, ext. 403, sean_oneill@ago.net
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660, ext. 454, antonietta_mirabelli@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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