USA: ancient Egyptian sarcophagus as corporate boss’ plaything

King Tut Ankh Amun canopeFrom Egyptology News:

Thanks very much to the U.S. graduate student who sent me links to the following minor controversy which blew up at a Chicago media preview:”A major U.S. sponsor of a traveling exhibit of Egyptian King Tutankhamen artifacts has been criticized for keeping a sarcophagus in its headquarters.

The incident happened Wednesday at Chicago`s Field Museum during a media preview of ‘Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,’ which opens to the public Friday.

During remarks from one of the show`s national sponsors, Randy Mehrberg, executive vice president of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., said he was standing in for CEO John Rowe, and that Rowe was such a fan of antiquities, he had a 2,600-year-old sarcophagus in his office.

That infuriated Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt`s Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Chicago Tribune reported.

‘I don`t think this is right,’ Hawass said.

‘An artifact like this is not supposed to be in an office or a home, but in a museum.

How can he sponsor an exhibit like King Tut and keep an artifact like this in his office?’

An Exelon spokeswoman told the Tribune the sarcophagus ‘is something John owns personally and it was acquired in a legal manner.’ ”

This is the entire piece on the Monsters and Critics website, but more details can be found at the Chicago Tribune site (free subscription required): …”

UPDATE 2014: that Tribune link does not work any more.

This controversy may in itself be minor (and won by Hawass and the museum).

However, it does raise the big controversy of the relationship of the Kenneth Lay‘s (and their friends, like George W Bush) in this world, to art and science.

White wine in King Tutankhamen’s grave: here.

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58 thoughts on “USA: ancient Egyptian sarcophagus as corporate boss’ plaything

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