22 November, 14:24
CAIRO – The iconic boy pharaoh Tutankhamun is once against on the big screen in Egypt thanks to Italy. At the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) in Cairo – in the presence of numerous well-known figures including ambassadors and former Egyptian ministers and Egyptologists such as Zahi Hawass – the documentary film Tutankhamun: The Last Exhibition by the journalist and documentary filmmaker Ernesto Pagano was screened.
The screening was on Monday evening under the aegis of the Italian embassy in Egypt.
The film looks at the finding of the tomb of the pharaoh – a symbol of ancient Egypt – and the last exhibition of the precious objects found in his pyramid, an exhibition that was interrupted by the COVID pandemic.
Among the aspects illustrated was the difficulty to transport the finds abroad and the “curse” of the pharaoh.
“The film was presented as a preview in Italy in May,” said Italy’s ambassador to Egypt Michele Quaroni in underscoring its success with the public.
“It was also broadcast in 40 countries across the entire world. But we are happy to see the film screened here in Egypt tonight, at the museum,” the ambassador added in speaking to an audience that included Khaled Al-Anani, who until a few months ago was Egypt’s tourism and antiquities minister.
The documentary was released during the centenary of the finding of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Britain’s Howard Carter in November 1922, marking an important date in Egyptology history due to the amount and quality of the finds, with its masks of gold of the pharaoh now a part the collective imagination.
“They say that the eternal life of a man ends when no one says his name. But the media production and documentaries, including the one of tonight, continue to leave traces of the child pharaoh, whose name and face remain alive in the memory of humanity,” Quaroni said.
Pagano has worked on documentaries and podcasts for National Geographic and others and has received awards for his 2015 Napolislam. However, he has focused a great deal on the legacy of ancient Egypt.
“Tutankhamun is a very popular subject. It was difficult and stimulating to say something new on him. But I had the unique opportunity to be present” during the “preparations of the largest exhibition on Tutankhamon, which included the transportation of 150 pieces”, Pagano underscored while speaking at the screening.
“Unfortunately the exhibition was interrupted by COVID-19,” he added. “I was lucky to see these pieces up close. I can confirm that it was magical,” Pagano said.
The film met with at least two minutes of applause.
“The prophecy of Tutankhamun came true, today he has returned to life,” once person in the audience said.