To mark the centenary of the opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 and the lead up to the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, 150 precious artefacts are currently on a world tour. An extraordinary collection of objects from the Pharaoh’s tomb, 60 of which have never been seen outside of Egypt before, will be on show from California to Japan, London to Sydney. During 2019 the exhibition kicks off in Paris on 23 March before moving to London opening on 2 November. Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased online, in advance – follow the links below for the official ticketing website.
Itinerary: King Tut World Tour Schedule of Locations and Dates
Ended 13 January 2019 Los Angeles: California Science Center
23 March – 15 September 2019 Paris: Grande Halle de la Villette
2 November 2019 – 3 May 2020 London: Saatchi Gallery
2021 (6 months) Sydney: Australian Museum
Besides these confirmed locations and dates, the touring exhibition is scheduled to appear in Japan, Canada, and South Korea. Further details will be added when these become available.
The Last World Tour
King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh is being hailed by authorities in Egypt as the last exhibition of the famed Pharaoh’s funerary objects to tour internationally.
See them, visit them, before they return back to Egypt forever.
The collection on tour since March 2018 comprises 150 objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Jewellery, sculptures and ritual objects join what is thought to be the oldest glove on earth, and the world’s oldest trumpet. Sixty of these artefacts have never travelled before. That is more than the number of artefacts that has ever been seen at once outside of Egypt. To put the hype around this exhibition into perspective, previous major travelling exhibitions contained only 55 of King Tut’s funerary artefacts.
But why the last? Until recently the 1000s of objects recovered from Tutankhamun’s tomb were in the Cairo Museum, many of which were on display. One of the gold chariots was on display in the Egyptian National Military Museum. In 2018 the last of King Tut’s objects were moved from these museums to the new museum near the Giza Pyramids. Scheduled to open in 2021, the Grand Egyptian Museum will tell the story of 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history with over 100,000 artefacts. The new museum will also be the final resting place of the Tutankhamun collection. It is reported that around 7,000 square metres of display space has been allocated to this extraordinary collection of funerary objects.
Paris: Grande Halle de la Villette, 23 March to 15 September 2019
The first stop of the European leg for the exhibition was Paris and the Grande Halle de la Villette. The Grande Halle is situated in the Parc de la Villette, the third-largest park in Paris. The park has one of the largest concentrations of cultural venues in Paris, the Grande Halle being one of them. Built between 1865 and 1867, this striking cast iron and glass building was until the mid 1970s an abattoir. Now a popular venue for trade fairs, exhibitions and music festivals.
Visitors to the Paris edition of the King Tut exhibition were also treated to a statue from the Louvre's collection: their statue of the god Amun protecting Tutankhamun. The diorite statue was found in 1857 during excavations in Karnak by the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette (Read More).
When the exhibition closed on 22 September 1,432,170 people had seen "Tutankhamun: The Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" during its six month run in Paris. Not only was this an increase on the previous Tutankhamun exhibition in the French capital (1967), it is also a new turn-out record for cultural exhibitions in France.
London: Saatchi Gallery, 2 November 2019 to 3 May 2020
The third stop on the World tour of the King Tut exhibition is the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London. This follows two highly successful exhibitions of the Pharaoh's funerary objects, in 1972 and 2007. These two exhibitions attracted over one million visitors, and in each there were less than 55 objects on show.
Buying Tickets for the King Tut Exhibition in London
Entry to the exhibition will be on a timed entry basis, and are sold for time slots every 30 minutes: 9.00 am, 9.30 am, 10.00 am, etc. Most people take somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half to go through the exhibition. You are not, however, restricted in how long you can spend inside the exhibition.
Ticket prices for weekdays are cheaper than weekends, off peak and peak tickets respectively. For an adult an off-peak, weekday ticket the price ranges from £24.50 to £31.35. Peak ticket prices range from £28.50 to £37.40. These prices do not include a booking fee.
Book as far ahead as possible, as the website has a number of warnings about the possibility of price changes. Tickets for the first weekend in December are £37.40, whereas for the first weekend in January they are only £32.45. This could change.
These ticket prices were correct at the beginning of November, we will keep this updated throughout the period of the exhibition.
Ticket purchases for groups of 15 or more is possible through Ticketmaster (contact Ticketmaster Group Sales in the UK on 0844 844 2121). Sign up for the newsletter on the official website for notification of ticket sales for individuals.
More things to see and do in London
- Dennis Severs House: Silent Night Tour through 200 Years of London History
- Battle of Britain Bunker: Inside the Room Where History Was Made
- Steelyard: London's Hanseatic Trading Post
- London Wall Walk: The Roman and Medieval Wall
More on Ancient Egypt in England
Sydney: Australian Museum, 6 months in 2021
In June 2018 it was announced that the Australian Museum in Sydney would receive 50 million Australian dollars to enable the museum to host major international exhibitions. Existing storage space will be refurbished to allow the international touring exhibition halls to be expanded significantly. Besides a new exhibition space, education facilities and other amenities will be created to increase visitor numbers. The transformed Australian Museum will be ready to host the touring Tutankhamun treasures exhibition early in 2021.
The Tutankhamun exhibition is a game-changer for Sydney and Australia. Sydney is the major cultural city in the Pacific/South East Asian region, and the significant upgrades to the Australian Museum will ensure we have world-class museum exhibition spaces for visitors to our State as well as residents to enjoy. Don Harwin, New South Wales Minister for the Arts
Two of the objects on display: Left, gold gilt statue of Tutankhamun on a reed float, and right, a gold gilt wooden shrine.
Photographs © Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo/Italy