It's all things Tut in L.A. this week. I was in the bowels of LACMA yesterday and the energy was high. Security was tighter than usual and media types were everywhere. Look forward to long lines, expensive merchandise and fluff pieces appearing in news outlets across the country.
My major problem with the exhibition is the way that the museum has been hijacked to serve corporate interests:
"I hate to say this, but it's very similar to how we would go market another entertainment event, like a major awards show or sporting event," says Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, the sports and entertainment presenter that developed Staples Center, among other venues, and is financing the exhibition."
The objects in the exhibition are magical. They bring us to another time. And they help illumine the artistic legacy of Africa and what is now the Arabic world. But there is something of the grave robber in all of this. Howard Carter ripped the crown (shown above) off of Tutankhamun's head and, as documented in the recent National Geographic cover article on Tut, Carter desecrated Tutankhamun's well preserved corpse which had become tightly fastened to his coffin by laying the mummy in the scorching Egyptian sun to melt the hold between Tutankhamun's body and its 3200 year-old resting place.
We should quietly pay homage to what has come before us. Tutankhamun's legacy should inspire reverence for humanity not for gold or the dollar.
Members have to pay a hefty surcharge to get tickets and non-members are asked to shell out up to $30 bucks. Is this about scholarship? Or history? Or art? Or is it more along the lines of Peter Keller's diamonds and dinosaurs and mummies: