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  • Writer's pictureHossam Dirar

Dirar's Nefertiti at "Pharaohs Superstars" Mucem Museum, France

Mucem, J4— Mucem J4, Level 2 (1200m2)

| From Wednesday June 22, 2022 to Monday October 17, 2022

Cheops, Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ramesses and Cleopatra are names that are familiar to us, thousands of years after the death of the rulers who bore them. But who today remembers Teti, Sesostris or Nectanebo? The exhibition “Pharaoh Superstars” tells how some kings and queens of Ancient Egypt have become international icons today, while others, who had their moment of glory in ancient times, have almost completely forgotten. Part history, part legend, this 5,000-year journey takes the visitor on a discovery of the exploits and especially the posthumous fame of these exotic characters who are the pharaohs. They can serve as a parable to illustrate the nature and paths of fame, reminding us that notoriety is ephemeral, fickle and not always based on historical merit. From Egyptian hieroglyphics to pop music and medieval illuminations to classical painting, the originality of this exhibition rests on how it brings together such a wide variety of artworks, historical documents, and contemporary consumer objects. All of them bear witness to the popularity of the pharaohs, their names and images, and often tell us more about our contemporary societies, imagination and aspirations. The exhibition presents nearly 300 pieces from the collections of the Mucem and the largest French and European collections, including the Musée du Louvre (Paris), the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris), the Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranée (Marseille), the British Museum (London), the Royal Museums of Art and History (Brussels), the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), the Museo Egizio (Turin), the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon), the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), the Musée d'Orsay (Paris), and the Libraries of the City of Marseilles. After the Mucem in Marseille, it will be presented at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon (from 24 November 2022 to 6 March 2023). This exhibition, initially planned at the Mucem for the summer of 2020, had to be postponed due to the health situation.


—Curation: Frédéric Mougenot, chief curator, custodian for heritage, Antiquities and Ceramics Collection, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille and Guillemette Andreu-Lanoë, associate curator, honorary director of the department of Antiquities of the Louvre Museum —Scenography: Emilie Delanne and Amélie Lauret, Graepheme Scenography —Partners: Roc-Eclerc Funecap, Ametis Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur Exhibition devised and produced by the Mucem in a co-production with the Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon

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