Czechs flocked to the National Museum in Prague on Monday to enjoy watching Egypt's pharaonic treasures displayed for the first time at an exhibition dubbed "Sun Kings,” held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Czech archaeological mission in Egypt.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Anani and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Sunday, in a ceremony attended by 500 Czech figures including entrepreneurs and statesmen.
The exhibition, scheduled to last until February 2021, features 90 artifacts unearthed by the Czech mission in the archaeological area of Abu Sir. The collection includes the head of a statue of King "Ra-Nefer-F", and a group of statues from the Old Kingdom, including one of a writer, statues of senior statesmen and officials, and a group of Canopic vessels, in addition to ten Ushabti statues of faience.
Babiš hailed the Egyptian government for its cooperation in organizing the exhibition in light of the current circumstances and the coronavirus pandemic. "This exhibition is the first to display Egyptian antiquities in Prague and the largest ever on Ancient Egypt," he said.
For his part, Anani said "the preparations for this exhibition, which began about five years ago, offers visitors a small glimpse about the Egyptian civilization, which would encourage them to visit Egypt to see more and enjoy the amazing Egyptian beaches."
The exhibition shed lights on the fifth dynasty (2435-2306 BC) and its kings known as "Sun Kings", who built their pyramids and temples in Abu Sir, southern Giza. The kings include Sahure, Neferirkare, Neferefre, and Nyuserre. And because the pyramids were built of mudbrick, they collapsed with time, and the region has been known as "the region of forgotten pyramids."
Dr. Miroslav Bárta, vice president of Charles University, said "the exhibition is an opportunity to recall the pyramid construction age, by displaying the artifacts the Czech mission excavated in Abu Sir. It is a dream that came true."
Anani said "the artifacts displayed at the exhibition never left Egypt before, and they are set to be featured in the Grand Egyptian Museum after they return from Prague."
He expected the Prague exhibition to host up to 300,000 visitors, and hailed the use of the video and hologram to provide more information about the artifacts.
During the exhibition, visitors can watch movies on Kings Sahure and Nyuserre and their tombs.