|The Tomb of Perneb beckons visitors to ancient Egypt at the Met|
A year ago, I visited Cairo's Egyptian Museum which recently became part of the news due to its location in Tahrir Square (the site of the revolution which ousted Mubarak). Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside the museum so I was left with nothing but just flashing memories of the incredible treasures I saw. Feeling itchy to see Egyptian antiquities again without actually flying to Cairo, I decided to revisit one of the world's best museums - the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met - in New York City. Thankfully, photography is allowed as long as no flash is used.
Suggested entrance fee at the Met is $20, quite hefty knowing that most big museums in both Washington, DC & London are free but my way around this is simply to offer $5 to the cashier who accepts it anyway. With my pin (the color of which is changed at random everyday), I now have access to a mind-boggling display of art collections that span thousands of years. Established in 1870, the Met has grown in size over the years, with the current building now offering a staggering floor space of more than 2 million square feet. Which means, to explore the Met comfortably, one has to wear good walking shoes.
While the Met's Egyptian collection is I believe second only to that of London (Cairo has the biggest of course), the display consisting of 40 galleries is still extensive. Many of these were acquired when the museum conducted archaeological excavations in Egypt while the rest came from private collections. But of all things brought to New York, nothing can compare to the Temple of Dendur, truly the museum's highlight and a personal favorite. This ancient sandstone temple used to stand in Nubia, in the southern part of Egypt.
|The Temple of Dendur|
When the Aswan High Dam was being built in the 1960s, many ancient monuments lying in low ground were threatened to be submerged, including Dendur and the colossal Abu Simbel. The US helped the Egyptian government relocate Abu Simbel to its present site, now one of Egypt's top attractions. As a big token of Egypt's appreciation, the Temple of Dendur was given to the US. Dismantled block by block from its original site, the whole thing was shipped to New York where it now stands at the Sackler Wing of the Met.
|I don't want this in my living room|
|Closer look at the Temple|
|A New Yorker's 1891 graffiti on the Temple is now back in New York!|
|Haremhab - the General who became King|
|Layers cover the dead before it gets inside the sarcophagus|
|The Tiffany's of ancient Egypt|
|Golden slippers to help walk in the afterlife|
|Ancient text written on papyrus|
|Statues of Hatshepsut - the female Pharaoh|