Madrid becomes the capital of ancient Egypt with 2 large exhibitions

by Lorraine Williamson
ancient Egypt

MADRID – Thanks to the coincidence of two major exhibitions on the pharaonic civilisation, Madrid is briefly the capital of ancient Egypt. 

These are the ‘Daughters of the Nile’ exhibitions in the Palacio de las Alhajas (until December 31) and ‘Mummies, rediscovering six lives’ in CaixaForum until October 26. For more Egyptian impressions, a production of the opera Aida can be seen in the Royal Theatre on 24 October. Finally, the important Egyptological collections can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum. 

Year of Egyptological Celebrations 

The exhibits coincide with a year of Egyptology celebrations, bringing with them the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphic writing by Champollion on November 4, and the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Debod Temple. from Nubia, in Madrid (July 18). 

In total, the two exhibitions represent more than 500 objects from the pharaonic civilisation. Therefore, this is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most exciting cultures in history. 

Daughters of the Nile 

Daughters of the Nile presents surprises such as the reconstruction of a dress worn by Queen Nefertari (the main wife of Ramesses II) and – via a compelling video – the burial chamber of her beautiful tomb in the Valley of the Queens. 

Cogesa Expats

The exhibition is divided into various sections;

  • women’s daily lives, including sexuality
  • women and royalty
  • religion and death
  • Egyptomania

With the exhibition, the initiators want to make clear there was surprising equality of sex in ancient Egypt. Especially when compared to other great civilisations in antiquity such as the Greek and Roman. Furthermore, women could own property, inherit, divorce, engage in many occupations and occupy high positions. Some were even given the highest representation of the state. 

Mummies in Caixaforum 

If the exhibition in the Palacio de las Alhajas is very interesting, the one in CaixaForum is extraordinary. The central idea here is to bring six mummies to life to learn more about their lives. Also, the mix of modern science and history together with the incredible quality of the exhibited material, the central pieces, the mummies and their trousseau is very special. The collected collection (260 pieces) and its value give an idea of ​​the fabulous Egyptological wealth of the British Museum in London, where the mummies and other objects come from. This exhibition will travel to Barcelona at the end of October. 

The six mummies you will meet during this exhibition reveal themselves to you in their respective spaces as if the visitor were entering their burial chamber. Thanks to new technology, the mummies have been examined down to their last nooks and crannies. Special software reveals all their secrets. Together with the physical mummies, screens show in surprising and fascinating detail how the scanners virtually strip them of bandages and flesh. 

Among the numerous sensational objects that accompany the exhibition and, together with the mummies, bring ancient Egypt closer, are, in addition to the sarcophagi, embalming instruments, canopic vessels, steles, cosmetic containers, statues (a huge, impressive one, of Sekhmet, in granodiorite). 

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