In 1979 King Tut, an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who ascended to the throne at age 9 and died before he was 20, captured the hearts and minds of America. Like a Rolling Stones concert tour, the traveling museum exhibit of King Tut drew huge crowds and a cult following. King Tut was everywhere. Comedian Steve Martin even wrote a song dedicated to the Boy King that rose to the top of the pop charts.
Now, he's back. A traveling exhibit titled "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" is scheduled to stop in four American cities over the next 27 months. Having opened on June 16 in Los Angeles, the exhibit will hit venues in Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago and Philadelphia.
For information on the traveling show, go to www.kingtut.org. They have detailed schedules, ticket information and an education section detailing the history of King Tut's life, death and afterlife, a custom inherent to the mummification process of the ancient Egyptians. The reason for the exhibit and the return of King Tut is quite simple -- the Egyptians need additional financing to preserve and fund the upkeep of the their great ancient national treasures such as the Pyramids, Sphinx and Temple of Luxur. Egyptian officials believe their great sites are decaying and face ruin within 100 years if not properly cared for and preserved.
With over 100 artifacts dating as far back as 3,500 years from both King Tutankhamun's tomb and the Valley of the Kings, burial site of most of Egypt's great Pharaohs, this particular exhibit includes the gold crown placed upon the Tut's mummified body that he may have worn in life and a gold-tiled coffin that contained the young king's internal organs. When King Tut's tomb was discovered in 1922, it was one of the world's most important archaeological finds ever. The great exhibit with all its artifacts takes you back in time to the world of the Pharaohs and the culture of the Nile. It's an especially incredible show for kids who become enchanted by the color of the exhibit and Tut's personal history. After all, what nine year old can't relate to a king or queen his own age?
Ticket prices vary slightly per city. Expect to pay $30 per adult on weekends or $27 during the week. For children 6 to 17, tickets will cost $14 or $15 vary per city every day. Senior tickets cost $22 during the week or $27 on a Saturday or Sunday. Tickets are available for the first two legs of the exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that lasts from June 16 to November 15, 2005 and for the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale that goes from December 15, 2005 to April 23, 2006. You can sign up to be notified when tickets officially go on sale for the final two cities at www.kingtut.org/sweepstakes.htm. Tickets are expected to go on sale January 24, 2006 for the Chicago leg of the tour showing at The Field Museum from May 26, 2006 to January 24, 2007. For the show in Philadelphia at the Franklin Institute from February 3 to September 7, 2007, tickets should go on sale sometime in 2006 as well. You'll find detailed information on each of the venues including telephone numbers, addresses and links to the museums' individual sites at www.kingtut.org/venues.htm. (The exhibit is skipping the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York because of a disagreement between museum officials and the Egyptian curators over an Egyptian demand to charge a separate price for entrance into the Tut exhibit, a request in direct contradiction to the Met's pay-one-price policy.)
Official planning for this exhibit even included securing special hotel deals in each of the host cities. In Los Angeles, seven hotels have deals related to the King Tut exhibit (www.kingtut.org/lahotels.htm). The Wilshire Grand (tel. 888/773-2888; www.wilshiregrand.com) has a one-night double occupancy rate that includes two tickets to the exhibit, Executive Level accommodations, free parking and continental breakfast in the Executive Lounge for $169 per night. Additional nights at the hotel cost only $119. The Fort Lauderdale exhibit struck a deal with Marriott where Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Hotels & Resorts the official hotel sponsor for the event. Starting at $149 per night with double occupancy, you get two VIP tickets to the exhibit that mean front of line access, two audio tours, an official King Tut catalogue and 10 percent off the museum gift shop. See www.marriottse.com/offers/kingtut or call 800/583-0179 for details. There are six Marriott's in the Ft. Lauderdale vicinity all of which offer the above deal ranging in price from $149 to $199 per night depending on hotel amenities, location and resort type. Keep checking back at the King Tut website or sign up for newsletter to see hotel deals as they come available for the Chicago and Philadelphia exhibits.
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