Hundreds of people lined up on the second floor of the Royal B.C. Museum Friday morning, under a huge archway etched with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
“Come in peace, come to the house of gold, the house of his majesty,” translated Regina Schultz, director of the Roemer-und-Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim, Germany, one of the largest contributors to the collection. The inscriptions came directly from the temple of Hatshepsut, the iconic female pharaoh whose bust is the centrepiece of the RBCM exhibit.
The exhibit has over 300 original artifacts, including a 12th dynasty wooden tomb with rare illustrations and texts. There’s also large-scale models and interactive displays, plus a small, secret entryway just for kids.
The collection pieces come from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, the Roemer-und-Pelizaeus-Museum, the Gustav Lübcke Museum in Hamm, Germany and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
|Visitors to the Royal B.C. Museum rushed in for the opening of Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs exhibition which opened May 18. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS|
Schultz is “very pleased” with the finished product, noting the RBCM team was provided with a unique set of challenges and opportunities in designing the exhibit.
“People who are living here also have their own religious traditions; it’s not just what we have here in Europe … with more clear lines with Christianity,” Schultz said, referring to the fact pharaohs were considered Gods. “Here we’re in a country with some other thoughts about ethical rules and how to interact with the world … but it’s interesting because you can see parallels in everything.”
Many people waited outside the doors in anticipation. Asked why they arrived so early, there were enthusiastic answers.
“Because I can’t wait to see the Egypt pharaohs!” said Gabriel Sacca, a young boy with a gap-toothed grin.
Anne-Marie Stevens brought her daughter and mother to the grand opening.
“We are big fans of Egypt and my daughter, Trista, is also learning about Egypt in school,” Stevens said. “So we’re playing hooky to come on down and watch this, and we’re here with my mother. Three generations have come down to see what the museum has to offer.”
The exhibit runs until Dec. 31 and is included as part of general museum admission. For more information you can head to royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.