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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Ancient Egypt : Prague National Museum exhibiting ''Kings of the Sun''


The new exhibition of the National Museum ''Kings of the Sun'', sheds light on thousands of years of Egyptian history. 


Opened Monday, the exhibitionin the historic building of the museum on Wenceslas Square in Prague will be open until February 7, 2021. The ancient Egyptian civilization, which survived over 3,000 years, has long fascinated archaeologists and the public. The National Museum - in collaboration with the Czech Institute of Egyptology of Charles University and the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities - will show a never-before-displayed collection of around 300 objects that are almost 5,000 years old. 


The exhibition has been prepared for several years and the total insured value of the items is CZK 1 billion. By combining original artifacts with modern multimedia technologies, Kings of the Sun will allow people to feel the atmosphere of the great Egyptian rulers. The exhibition is intended for all age groups.

''The Kings of the Sun exhibition is not only a dream come true for the National Museum and several generations of Czech Egyptologists, but also one of the most important exhibitions organized by the National Museum during its existence. For almost half a year, visitors to the National Museum will be able to admire a world-unique collection of Egyptian monuments, thousands of years old, ''said Michal Lukeš, director general of the National Museum. ''The preparation of such an extensive international exhibition is always a very demanding matter, but I find it almost a miracle that Kings of the Sun have managed to exist even in the current international situation of coronavirus infection. Thanks to everyone on the Czech and Egyptian side who contributed to this. Thanks to them, the Czech Republic can now boast an exhibition that is unparalleled in the world'' he added.

Ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom is generally the first territorial state in world history. Between the 27th and 22nd centuries BC, this civilization flourished unprecedentedly. The Abusir site is part of the pyramid fields stretching from today's Cairo tens of kilometers south to the Fayoum Oasis. During the Old and Middle Kingdom period, this area was home to the largest pyramidal complexes of monarchs and cemeteries of their family members, as well as high dignitaries and even ordinary people. Abusir together with the neighboring Saqqar is the very center of this area, where the vast majority of royal and non-royal monuments that have survived to this day are located.

Kings of the Sun refers to the rulers of the V Dynasty who worshiped the sun god Ra as the main deity of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. Four of these rulers built their funeral complexes at Abusir. Architecture, art and philosophy, as well as the government of the state, reached their peak during their reign. The greatest treasures from the third to the first millennium BC are the statues of King Neferefre - also known as Raneferef. There is also an extensive collection of statues of Princess Sheretnebta and the scribe Maa-Nefer. Visitors will also see stone vessels, ceramics, texts, and bas-reliefs from the royal complexes of the Abusir rulers. The exhibition includes items on loan from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; The Great Egyptian Museum of Giza; and museums in Berlin, Leipzig, Hanover, Heidelberg, Hildesheim. and Frankfurt am Main.

There are also items on display that the National Museum acquired as a Czechoslovakian share in the finds made during the expeditions of Charles University in Abusir. Czech expeditions explored the temple complex of King Neferefre, which has one of the largest collections of royal statues from the time of the pyramid builders, and a papyrus archive describing the worship and functioning of the temple. “For the first time outside Egypt, the Kings of the Sun exhibition presents the world's greatest discoveries made by an expedition of the Czech Institute of Egyptology in the Abusir pyramids field almost every year. In Prague, you can see dozens of unique artifacts telling the history of the ancient Egyptian civilization of the pyramid builders. I am glad that, together with the National Museum, we were able to organize this exhibition for the Czech and world audience ”- Miroslav Bárta. director of Czech archaeological research in Egypt and vice-rector of Charles University, ”he said.



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