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Sydney's Huge Tutankhamun Exhibition Has Been Cancelled Due to the Pandemic

'Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh' was originally scheduled to display at the Australian Museum from February this year.
By Sarah Ward
March 18, 2021
By Sarah Ward
March 18, 2021

If the last 12 months hadn't been affected by COVID-19, the Australian Museum in Sydney would currently be playing host to Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, a blockbuster exhibition of more than 150 objects from the ancient boy king's tomb. That isn't the case due to the pandemic — and, in bad news for anyone interested in history or eager to find out more about one of its most famous figures, the huge showcase will now no longer be displaying at the venue at all.

Today, Thursday, March 18, the Australian Museum announced the exhibition's cancellation, advising that it has been informed by IMG, the company responsible for staging the exhibition, that Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh would no longer be coming to the venue. Originally, the tour had just been postponed; however, now it has been completely shuttered.

If it had gone ahead — with an original launch date of February 2021 — the hefty showcase would've been on display for six months, and featured golden jewellery, elaborate carvings, sculptures and ritual antiquities from King Tut's treasure-laden resting place. And, it would've been available for Australians to see just shy of a century after the tomb was first discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter back in 1922. Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh was also set to include 60 pieces that had never previously left Egypt.

Revealing the cancellation, Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay said that "the Australian Museum is saddened that the Tutankhamun exhibition has been cancelled due to the pandemic", but noted that the venue is working on a replacement.

"We are already negotiating for a new touring Egyptian exhibition and hope to announce details soon. We know our visitors are fascinated by ancient Egypt and in the next three years, the Australian Museum will open its first-ever permanent Egypt Gallery to display our remarkable collection of historical artefacts," McKay said.

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh's was set to display in the Australian Museum's newly revamped space, with the venue reopening in November 2020 after a $57.5 million makeover. As part of its renovations, the site added more than 3000 square metres of public space to its layout, to provide more room to host blockbuster exhibitions.

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is no longer set to display at the Australian Museum. To see the venue's current exhibitions, head to the Australian Museum website.

Images: AP Images / King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the California Science Centre.

Published on March 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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