Kansas City's Nelson Atkins Museum of Art has just opened its newly renovated, $1.7 million ancient Egyptian art collection, featuring the 2,300-year-old coffin of Egyptian noblewoman Meretites. The Egyptian gallery has been closed for about two years in order to undergo stunning renovations. The gallery's moody lighting and dark marble give visitors the feeling that they have been transported back in time to Egypt's ancient tombs.
The gallery's curator, Robert Cohon, says that he hopes the exhibit will appeal to children whose curiosity about the ancient culture will be enhanced by the new offerings on display. No longer will Kansas City residents have to pay $30 and round trip airfare to Denver, New York, or London to see the lavishly displayed ancient treasures. The Nelson exhibit is permanent, opened last weekend, and is free to all curious, history loving enthusiasts.
Besides the coffin of Meretites, the exhibit also features a mummy acquired from Emory University. Additionally, there are treasures and artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East. The bulk of the items on display are from Meretites' burial itself, consisting of numerous gilded pieces that were intended to carry the noblewoman into a comfortable afterlife.
Ancient history has finally come to life in Kansas City. While the Nelson exhibit is not King Tut's traveling collection, it is every bit as incredible, and it is Kansas City's own permanent slice of history.