The Golden Pharaohs in Paris!


The fascination with this magic land will never end as we stunningly observe the greatness of these backdrops, scenes, and facades.

Ancient meets ultramodern in “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs,” now on view in Houston. Immerse Agency

Although many issues remain for us obscure and unsolved puzzles, there are at least places to witness these unique arts and relish them.

Here we read a supreme Marie Grillot‘s report on the arrival of the Golden Pharaoh in Paris, France. 🙏💖

The image on top: Ramses-the-great, Luxor Tempel, via The Economic Times News

The exhibition “Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs” has arrived in France.

via égyptophile

Exhibition “Ramses & the gold of the pharaohs” – Grande Halle de la Villette Paris – April 7 – September 6, 2023
Sphinx of Ramses II offering the microcephalic vase of Amun
crystalline sandstone – 19th Dynasty – the reign of Ramses II – JE 38060
and in the background, the Ramesseum, the temple of Millions of Years of Ramesses II on the west bank of Thebes
Une expo RII

After Houston and San Francisco, the “Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibition arrived in France. It was inaugurated on Thursday, April 6, at La Villette, in the presence of Ahmed Issa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities; Mostafa Waziri, Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities; by Alaa Youssef, Ambassador of Egypt to France and Zahi >the Opportu< Hawass, internationally renowned Egyptologist. Dominique Farout, curator of the exhibition and Bénédicte Lhoyer, scientific advisor, presented this exceptional event passionately…

Inauguration of the exhibition “Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs” at La Villette, in Paris, on April 6
on the right, Ahmed Issa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities
and, on the left, Mostafa Waziri, Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities

In fact, 180 artefacts lent by Egypt through its Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities are exhibited in a museography, as aesthetic as it is neat, produced by the World Heritage Exhibition. “Sumptuous decorations surround the artefacts against a backdrop of a personalized musical score. They are accompanied by unique multimedia presentations of the Battle of Kadesh and a virtual mummification”, specifies its general manager John Norman.

From a colossal 2.30 m head of Ramses II (CG 643) from Memphis to the golden amulet of the “Two Mistresses” (JE 85815), which was sewn to the shroud of Psusennes I, from the jewels of the princesses of Dahshur dating from the XIIth dynasty to the ornaments of the Tanite pharaohs of the XXIth dynasty; from the coffin of Sennedjem (JE 27303), craftsman of the Place de Vérité to that of Ramses II (CG 61020); from an ostracon of Ramses IV (CG 25124) to a 108-gram gold earring (CG 52323) found in Abydos, on a mummy that had turned to dust…

Isis and Nephtis depicted on the external coffin of Sennedjem – stuccoed and painted wood – 19th Dynasty
from his tomb – TT 1 – at Deir el-Medina – discovered by Salam-Abou-Douy de Gournah
and by the Antiquities Service in January-February 1886
registered in the Diary of Entries of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 27303

So many marvels are revealed throughout a didactic journey, rich in every sense of the term… and where Ramses II, although he is not the one and only centre of interest, occupies a prominent place. …

In the hall stands a reconstruction of his rock temple of Abu Simbel (Lower Nubia). With unique architecture, its façade stands out with four colossi 20 m high: two represent him as king, the other two as his divine nature: Sun of the Princes and Prince of the Two Lands…

Reconstruction of the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel (Lower Nubia) with its four colossi on the facade

Everything celebrates the greatness of this sovereign, the third Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty who reigned over the Double Country for 66 years… A prolific builder, a fine military and political strategist, and an experienced diplomat, he also could ally himself – or rather impose himself – to the priests of Amun. He contributes to his own “legend” by illustrating the glorious facts of his reign on the walls of his temples…

The upper part of a statue of Ramesses Il – Gray granite – New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty
reign of Ramses II – 1290-1224 BC. AD – from Tanis – Egyptian Museum in Cairo – CG 616

This Pharaoh also venerates his father, Séthy I, and his mother, Queen Touy, presented here by her seated statue in black granite (JE 37084). He will have many concubines and eleven wives… “The most beautiful of all” will be Nefertari, for whom he will build a temple very close to his in Abu Simbel, as well as a luxurious residence of eternity in the Valley of the Queens (QV 66 ), where the most talented artists will make the perfection of its beauty eternal…

He will have a hundred children… His successor will be his thirteenth son, Merenptah, presented by a magnificent bust (JE 31414 – CG 607) discovered in 1896 in his temple in western Thebes by William Matthew Flinders Petrie.

The upper part of a statue of Merenptah broken at the waist – grey granite painted in red, yellow and blue
19th dynasty – the reign of Merenptah – 1237 – 1226 BC
from the second court of his million-year-old temple of West Thebes
discovered by William Matthew Flinders Petrie in 1896 – Cairo Museum – JE 31414 – CG 607

Ramses II died at almost 90; he was buried in his “dwelling of eternity” dug in the main wadi of the Valley of the Kings. KV 7, like many tombs in this necropolis, will be looted… Around 1080 BC. BC, the high priests of Amun will shelter the royal mummies. His will first be transferred to the tomb of his father, Séthy I (KV 17).

Four years later, it will be moved, then deposited, with about forty royal remains and their funerary material, in the tomb of Princess Inhâpi. Located south of Deir el-Bahari, this “Cachette des mummies Royales” (DB 320) was discovered in 1871 by the Gournawis, the Abd el-Rassoul brothers, then in 1881 by the Antiquities Department then headed by the Frenchman Gaston Maspero… Ramses II rested in a cedar wood coffin (JE 26214 – CG 61020), which was not originally his…

Cedarwood coffin of Ramses II from Thebes from the royal hiding place of Deir el-Bahari (DB 320)
discovered in 1871 by the Abd el-Rassoul family and “rediscovered” by the Service des Antiquités in 1881
Cairo Egyptian Museum – JE 26214 – CG 61020

Forty-seven years ago, for the exhibition “Ramses the Great”, organized from May 15 to October 15, 1976, at the Grand Palais by Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, Egypt had agreed to lend the lid of this coffin. At the same time, on September 26, 1976, the royal mummy resting in the anthropoid tank of this same coffin, placed in a “‘sarcophagus’ of special plexiglass, impervious to ultraviolet rays, and wedged in sterilized polystyrene cushions”, arrived in France. , welcomed like a head of state… She stayed there until May 10, 1977, to be treated by the most outstanding specialists of the time. As a token of the friendship and respect binding our two countries, the Egyptian Government has granted exceptional authorization for the lid of the coffin and its tank to return to Paris for this exhibition… It is in a magnificent space, reproducing a room of the tomb of Séthy I (where let us recall, the mummy had transited), that this set is very respectfully displayed.

As for the tomb of this great Pharaoh, it was severely damaged by the seeping waters. The 25 years of excavations carried out by the French mission of Christian Leblanc have delivered important information, and among them, the certainty that his sarcophagus was made of alabaster like that of Seti I.

The “Ramesside dynasty” lasted until Ramses XI, whose reign ended in total anarchy, which gave rise to the “Third Intermediate Period”. Two “entities” henceforth govern the Double Country: the High Priests of Amun, in the South, in Thebes, whereas, in the Delta, in Tanis, the “tanite” kings settle. This line is founded by Smendès, to whom Amenemnisout will briefly succeed, then Psusennes I, who will reign for 47 years. He will then establish the royal necropolis within the temple’s precincts of Amun. Pierre Montet excavated this site in 1929 and, ten years later, discovered several royal tombs: Osorkon, Psousennes I and II, Amenemopé, Sheshonq, etc.

The face of Pharaoh Amenemopé – gold leaf – surviving upper part of his gilded wooden coffin
21st dynasty – from the Royal Necropolis of Tanis – NRT III – Tomb of Amenemopé
discovered by Pierre Montet, April 16, 1940 – Egyptian Museum of Cairo – JE 86059

The “treasures of Tanis” are very widely present at this exhibition: sarcophagi, golden masks, jewels, and sacred and profane dishes… They testify to the richness of the funerary art of this “Thebes of the North”… We will not miss not to be surprised that such discoveries did not have such an important impact as that granted, in 1922, to Tutankhamun… But they took place during the Second World War, and the context was not the most conducive to arousing the ‘interest…

By its stone, gold and silver artefacts, by the history with which they are steeped (from the Middle Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period), by its reconstructions, by “the immersive virtual reality experience in the temples of ‘Abou Simbel and the tomb of Queen Nefertari”, through the “all public” workshops it offers, this exhibition is not to be missed under any circumstances!

Marie Grillot

The filmed report made during this visit by Pascal Pelletier and Daniel Lefebvre:

13 thoughts on “The Golden Pharaohs in Paris!

  1. This is ultimately fascinating.
    A time of kings, pre christian priests and riches beyond belief.
    A time of slaves creating artifacts & tombs for the eternal rest of the kings et al.
    History in all its mystery is a worthwhile visit.
    Thank you Alaedin!

    Liked by 1 person

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