Featured image via Arab News
In 1971, Hungarian-British physicist, Dennis Gabor, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention and development of the holographic method. It’s almost 50 years later, and the technology of holography is still playing a significant role in our day-to-day lives. Did you know that holography is used in CAT scans, credit cards, driver licenses, and the little black bar codes that we find on some food items and home appliances?
Egypt is no stranger when it comes to holography. In 2012, the Cairo Citadel hosted a hologram of Kawkab Al-Sharq, Oum Kalthoum, during the opening of MBC Masr. And just last month, Lebanese singer, Carole Samaha, performed a duet with a hologram of the legendary icon, Abdel Halim Hafez. Scheduled to open in late 2020, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), will feature a third holographic display. However, this time, it won’t be the hologram of a historical figure, but of an entire collection, belonging to the youngest Pharaoh to ever rule Egypt, King Tutankhamun.
In an interview with Extra News channel, Tourism Minister, Dr Rania Al-Mashat, announced the major holographic exhibition of two gigantic galleries, dedicated to King Tut, including his famous golden face mask as the centrepiece. Surprisingly, a large portion of these ancient artefacts have never been seen by the public and, according to Arab News, took experts eight years to excavate them from the Pharaoh’s tomb. Al-Mashat states, “We decided to focus on the quality, not the quantity; we should be present in various conspicuous exhibitions, but unique through distinctive promoting means.”
Egypt Independent referred to the GEM’s General Manager Tarek Tawfik interview with the Art Newspaper, where he explained how the GEM accommodates two 7,000 square metre galleries, revealing the king’s lifestyle–how he lived, dressed, and ate will be shown alongside a complete collection of his precious belongings.
Moreover, the online newspaper states Antiquities Minister, Khaled El-Anani, said that approximately 20,000 artefacts will be displayed exclusively for the first time, out of an estimated total of 100,000 priceless relics.
A few last-minute trivia details about the GEM. Firstly, it is located on 500,000 square metres of land and just 2 km away from the Giza pyramids. Secondly, it is shaped like a chamfered triangle in plan. Finally, it was designed by a Dublin based company, Heneghan Peng.
Like Egyptologists and tourists all around the world, we are eagerly waiting for the opening of one of the largest museums in the world to witness the heritage of one single civilisation come to life through the modern technology of visual reality.