VMFA to host Egyptian exhibit about sunken cities

VMFA to host Egyptian exhibit about sunken cities
Statue of the Fertility God Hapy, 4th or 3rd century BC. Thonis-Heracleion, red granite, 5.4 m. high. Maritime Museum Alexandria (Source: Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) will be hosting the Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities exhibit.

The exhibit will feature nearly 300 objects, mostly from underwater excavations of the ancient Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion.

Powerful photography, films, maps, graphics, and an audio guide provide context and background on how these cities were lost and rediscovered.

The exhibition highlights ancient artifacts retrieved from Aboukier Bay off the coast of Egypt by a team of underwater archaeologists led by Franck Goddio, the director of the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology (IEASM).

In addition to some 250 works recovered by IEASM, 40 additional works from museums in Egypt help tell the story of Ptolemaic Egypt and one of its most important cults, the annual celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris.

Highlights of the exhibition include a nearly 18-foot-tall, 5.6-ton statue of the god Hapy, the largest stone statue of a god recovered from ancient Egypt, beautiful statues of other gods and rulers of that civilization, as well as fascinating objects used to celebrate the annual Mysteries of Osiris.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique experience to our visitors,” VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges said. “VMFA brings the world to Richmond, and this exhibition explores the fascinating history of two lost cities of ancient Egypt. This is the last time this groundbreaking exhibition will be on view in North America, and we hope to attract a wide range of visitors.”

The exhibit will be open at the VMFA on July 4.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.