Kicking off the UK Tutankhamun show is a contest to capture the imagination and give pupils the chance to follow in the footsteps of the pharoahs, says Susan Young
Are your pupils mad about mummies, or potty about pyramids? Then make sure you enter the fantastic competition that is being launched today by the organisers of the blockbuster Tutankhamun exhibition coming to London in November.
About 120 school groups, mostly from the UK, will be chosen to work with Romero Britto, a Brazilian pop artist, to create a giant, colourful pyramid to sit outside the O2 Centre (formerly the Millennium Dome) while the exhibition is on.
Not only will the pupils get a free day out in London working with the artist, but they will receive tickets to return to the exhibition once it opens. They will be helping Romero, whose bold paintings and sculptures are bought by the likes of Sir Elton John and Arnold Schwarzenegger, plus pupils from schools in Europe, Egypt and the US.
"I am so excited about working with the kids," says Romero, who is exhibiting in 100 galleries worldwide. "I think they will get a very good appreciation of art and history and will go home enriched by being part of a project like this."
Romero and the pupils will meet on July 5 to learn more about the Egyptians, paint some of the pyramid's 200 panels, and also create artworks to take back to school. The specification of the pyramid sides and angles will match those of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, a tribute to one of the original Ancient Wonders of the World.
Pupils' names will be inscribed on the 12-metre high pyramid structure, which will be visible from much of east London.
For your pupils to have a chance to take part, visit the project website at www.pyramidproject.co.uk, as soon as possible and register your class.
Entries close on June 5.
Entry is free and participants will be chosen on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to closer schools and also children aged eight to 11 who may be studying the ancient Egyptians
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will include 50 major objects excavated from Tutankhamun's tomb and more than 70 from other royal graves of the 18th Dynasty, all between 3,300 and 3,500 years old. There will also be a gallery about Howard Carter, the British archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb. The exhibition runs from 15 November 2007 to 30 August 2008. www.visitlondon.comtut or kingtut.org