Estonia's first major exhibition of ancient Egyptian art to open at Kumu

Sarcophagus. Source: Museo Egizio

Two hundred objects of ancient Egyptian art will go in display at Kumu art gallery next month in what will be the first major exhibition of ancient Egyptian art in Estonia.

"Egypt of Glory: Art from the Nile Valley" will open on October 10 and will feature sarcophagi, mummies, amulets, tombstones and sculptures

The seven sub-themes of the exhibition help to tell the story of the pharaohs' lives and the belief in eternal life, to show how people, animals and gods were depicted in different ways and for different reasons, and to reveal the nature of hieroglyphs as both an art form and applied art.

Curator Paolo Marini said the exhibition provides an opportunity to look at the world through the eyes of ancient Egyptians. 

"Through the beautiful objects on display, it is possible to understand how the Egyptians of that time interpreted reality, what the lush landscape of the Nile areas looked like to them and what their perception of the other side was. We know all this thanks to the unique heritage of ancient Egypt," Marini said.  

The exhibition also provides an idea of the connections between Estonians and ancient Egypt, and explores the fascination with 19th-century Egypt, which also brought Egyptian antiquities to Estonian museum collections.

"One would think that ancient Egypt would be far from Estonia in terms of both time and space, but here, too, we were well acquainted with what was happening in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century," explained Jaanika Anderson, co-author of the exhibition.  "Here, too, an attempt was made to collect antiquities from this mysterious and little-known culture."

Alongside Kumu's exhibition, a similar exhibition seen at the Amos Rex Art Museum in Helsinki. 

Egypt of Glory: Art from the Nile Valley will be at the Kumu Art Museum, from October 10, 2020 to March 21, 2021.

Egypt of Glory: The Last Powerful Dynasties at the Amos Rex Art Museum in Helsinki, from October 9, 2020 to March 21, 2021.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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