Tutankhamun blockbuster to star in revamped Australian Museum

The Australian Museum is set to host the extraordinary Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh blockbuster exhibition thanks to a $50 million refurbishment.

11 June 2018

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, today announced the Australian Museum will expand its touring exhibition halls opening with the largest and most impressive King Tutankhamun exhibition to ever leave Egypt.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin revealed Sydney will host the Tutankhamun exhibition in early 2021 for a six-month run at the Australian Museum.

“The Tutankhamun exhibition is a game-changer for Sydney and Australia. Sydney is the major cultural city in the Pacific/South East Asian region, and the significant upgrades to the Australian Museum will ensure we have world-class museum exhibition spaces for visitors as well as residents to enjoy,” Mr Harwin said.

“As well as the transformed exhibition space, the refurbishment will also create new education facilities, enabling school student visitors to double to 100,000 a year – all completed in time to host the Tutankhamun exhibition,” he said.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the museum upgrade will deliver a boost to the culture economy.

“The Australian Museum is a national treasure and this expansion will not only bring the world’s biggest blockbuster exhibitions like Tutankhamun, it will also bring flow on benefits for local businesses,” said Mr Perrottet.

“The expanded touring exhibition halls will be able to accommodate up to 800,000 visitors during a blockbuster the size and scale of Tutankhamun.

“This exhibition will include Egyptian artefacts that will never be seen again outside of Egypt following this world tour.

Sydney forms part of a 10-city world tour to mark the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

“Tens of thousands of overnight visitors are expected to travel to Sydney to see the Tutankhamun exhibition which is a South East Asian exclusive. We expect this amazing collection will bring in more than $100 million to our visitor economy - an

outstanding result for tourism in our State,” said Mr Perrottet

Director and CEO of the Australian Museum, Ms Kim McKay said that the refurbishment is a critical step in the future development of the Australian Museum.

“Repurposing existing storage space will see the significant expansion of the touring exhibition halls to 1500 square metres across two levels – allowing the Museum to host either one big blockbuster or two exhibitions simultaneously,” said Ms Mckay.

“The project has a BCR of 1.55 and it will provide great flexibility to the AM to ensure the very best exhibitions and experiences are presented at the AM in the future. We have a world-class collection and now we’ll have world-class spaces to show them in.”

Notes to the editor:

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh features more than 150 objects from King Tut’s tomb, including 60 treasures never previously displayed outside Egypt. Produced by IMG, it is the last time these objects will travel outside Egypt now that the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza is nearing completion.

Currently on exhibit to sold-out crowds at the California Science Center in Los Angeles – the first stop on the 10-city world tour – the exhibition also features advanced display technology and the latest science about King Tut’s life, health, death and lineage.

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