A new exhibition at Museum Centre Vapriikki: MUMMIES – a Journey to the Hereafter

On 16 November, a new exhibition on the cult of death in ancient Egypt opens at Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere, Finland. Some truly unique artefacts have been placed on loan for this exhibition, such as authentic Egyptian mummies, sarcophagi, ritual objects, jewellery and everyday utility articles. These have been provided by the Egyptian Museum in Florence, Italy.

Life after death is an important theme of many religions. Among those it intrigued were the ancient Egyptians, who followed a strict routine when preparing their dead for the final journey. The purpose of funerary rituals was not to maintain death but to preserve life for a new existence in the hereafter. Dead bodies were embalmed and mummified so that the soul could be reborn in the same body it occupied in life. In the afterlife, the deceased would need the same things as in earthly life – such as food and entertainment. Egyptian tombs with their rich treasures have fascinated minds for centuries and also attracted hordes of grave-robbers, gold-diggers, researchers and archaeologists.

The Mummies exhibition at Vapriikki was put together in co-operation with the Egyptian Museum of Florence. It displays, among other things, the secrets of embalming and mummification. Some of the artefacts on display were found by the French-Tuscan expedition (1828–29), which carried out excavations in Egypt under the leadership of Jean-François Champollion, a famous Egyptologist and the man who solved the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics. One of his students, Ippolito Rossellini from Pisa, who would later become the father of Egyptology in Italy, also took part in the expedition.

The objects found in the expedition were divided into two groups: one was taken to the Louvre, while the other remained in Italy at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence, founded by the Medici family. In 1855, the Egyptian Museum was separated from this museum, to form an independent unit. Its collections are the second largest in Italy after those of the Egyptian Museum in Turin. They have been collected since the 18th century through private donations and the expeditions and excavations arranged by the museum.

The exhibition at Vapriikki will continue from 16 November 2012 to 31 March 2013. The Mummies exhibition also includes an additional programme of events, such as lectures and workshops.

Museum Cetre Vapriikki

For additional information, contact
Exhibition Manager Marjo-Riitta Saloniemi
+358 50 553 8671
Photos: http://siiri.tampere.fi/ > Tiedotuskuvat