Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs, O2 dome

16th November 2007 at 00:00
King Tut must have one hell of an agent. That's the only explanation for the way a mediocre child star has been transformed into a multi-million-dollar super-king whose heavenly hand luggage is regularly carted around the world for the benefit of gaping audiences.

Because, let's face facts, he wasn't all that in the ruling department. Dead at 19 in 1327BC, possibly as a result of foul play, King Tut's reign was overshadowed by the economic success of his predecessors and the political nous of Ay, his successor and advisor, and most probably the real power behind the throne.

His treasures, the famous gold mask, gold crown and precious stones, were effectively paid for by Daddy. But since being discovered intact in 1922 he has become the most celebrated expired king after Elvis, and his 1972 appearance at The British Museum had them queuing down the road.

This new exhibition, which opened yesterday, is the first in Britain in 35 years. It showcases bling from a Pharaonic backing band of ancestors, including Tuya and Yuya (think George and Ringo) as well as the coffinettes (left) that were used to bury King Tut's organs.


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