The Australian Museum in Sydney will host this Ramses the Great exhibition, which will feature items that’ve never left Egypt before.
From 1279–1213 BCE, Ramses II ruled over Egypt. When Saturday, November 18 rolls around this year, a collection of items from the pharaoh’s rule 3000-plus years ago will gleam in Australia. First announced back in 2021, and now locking in its dates and details, Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs will display more 181 rare artefacts and treasures at the Australian Museum in Sydney — including sarcophagi, animal mummies, royal masks, jewellery, amulets and other golden items from the ruler’s tomb.
Focusing on Egypt’s third pharaoh from its 19th dynasty — a ruler also known as Ramses the Great, who enjoyed the second-longest reign of any pharaoh, and is considered a symbol of the country’s prosperous ancient New Kingdom period — this showcase is set to be big. The Australian Museum has dubbed it the largest cultural collection Down Under in more than a decade, in fact. While the hefty number of objects featured is impressive, so is their rare status; some of the pieces included haven’t ever left Egypt before.
Bringing a slice of history to Australia’s shores, Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs will be filled with items from museums and historical sites in Egypt, which are being loaned to the exhibition by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Also included: letting attendees enter two of the ruler’s monuments — the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, and the temples of Abu Simbel — virtually.
“Mystery surrounds Egypt’s origins, religions and monumental architecture — many of which were built during the reign of Ramses II,” said The Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Dr Mostafa Waziry, who is also an archaeologist, launching the countdown to Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs.
“This ability to transcend age and time has ensured the Egyptians have an eternal place in history, and I invite visitors to discover for themselves why Ramses II is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated and most powerful pharaoh of all time.”
“The AM is thrilled to present these exceedingly rare objects in an exhibition where visitors can appreciate their astonishing beauty and enduring history firsthand. Ancient Egypt holds intrigue and fascination for all age groups, and I know Ramses & The Gold of the Pharaohs in Sydney will introduce the mystery of the pharaohs to new generations of locals and visitors alike,” added Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay AO.
Presented in partnership with World Heritage Exhibitions, Neon and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, with support by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and also funding from the NSW Government’s Create NSW Blockbusters Funding initiative, Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs heads to Australia after showing in Houston and San Francisco in the US, as well as its current season until September in Paris.
Sydney was also meant to celebrate a different Egyptian rule, Tutankhamun, a few years back; however, Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, which was due to bring more than 150 items to the Australian Museum in 2021, was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs will display at the Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, from Saturday, November 18 until May 2024 — head to the exhibition’s website for further details, and tickets from Monday, July 17.