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King Tut Returns to Conquer America, Solve Museums’ Financial Woes

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The US has had two bouts of Egyptian mania in the past hundred years. First was in the early 1920s, when King Tutankhamen‘s tomb was discovered, leading to influence the art deco style. Later, it was the late 70s, which among other things resulted in perhaps Steve Martin‘s most famous song. So we can only sit and speculate as to what this third wave will bring, as the infamous King Tut exhibit returns to America (we’re purposefully skipping over the fact that it was also here in 2005 and 2006, because that doesn’t work into this narrative we’ve got cooking, or maybe it was just the warming up process). Starting out at the Dallas Museum of Art, where the exhibit just opened, it will then travel to two other, yet-to-be named cities, bringing with it both its cash cow heritage, a whole ton of curses that will likely involve frogs, and perhaps a new day in US trends. Here’s a bit:

“Tut mania is back,” said John Norman, president of Arts and Exhibitions International, an organizer of the exhibit.

The exhibit features about 130 objects — more than twice the number in the 1970s show — including more than 50 of Tut’s burial objects such as a golden crown Howard Carter discovered still on the head of the mummy. About 80 objects from the tombs of other royals and those with connections to the royal family will also be on display.

The Tut death mask, a showstopper of the 1970s run, won’t be displayed because it’s no longer allowed out of Egypt. But David Silverman, national curator for the exhibit, said the show helps tell more of the story of Tut.

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