Thousands of visitors are set to flock to Melbourne for the international-exclusive exhibition Pharaoh at the National Gallery of Victoria, with exquisite Egyptian treasures bound for the nation’s cultural capital thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s 2024 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series.
Minister for Creative Industries and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos today announced the new exhibition to mark the 20th anniversary of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, which has attracted more than seven million visitors since it began in 2004.
Pharaoh will take visitors on a journey through 3000 years of ancient Egyptian art, design and culture, from colossal sculptures, epic tomb and temple architecture to sacred relics and jewellery.
More than 500 precious works will come to Melbourne exclusively from the British Museum, the most ambitious international presentation of the museum’s collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Many of the works will be displayed in Australia for the first time, offering Victorians and visitors to experience this history up close.
Highlights include a larger-than-life statue of legendary Ramses II alongside one of the most complete sculptures to survive ancient Egypt depicting his grandson Sety II; a limestone tomb wall carved with hieroglyphs; and an enormous fist from the temple of Ptah weighing 1.5 tonnes.
Pharaoh also includes works commissioned by and celebrating ancient Egypt’s most famous rulers Tutankhamun, Queen Nefertari, Khufu, and foreign leaders such as Alexander the Great.
The accompanying program will include a free family-friendly exhibition in the NGV’s children’s gallery with hands-on activities, as well as a new season of NGV Friday Nights running each week throughout the exhibition.
Supported through the Major Events Fund, the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series has been bringing blockbuster art and cultural exhibitions exclusively to Melbourne since 2004. Current exhibitions include PierreBonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi at the NGV and Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion at ACMI.
Pharaoh will be on display from 14 June to 6 October 2024 at NGV International.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries, Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos
“Shining a light on the wonder of ancient Egypt, Pharaoh is an international exclusive exhibition that’s set to captivate visitors next winter, drawing crowds from across the state, country and beyond.”
“This Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition marks a twenty-year track record of bringing the world’s most iconic art and cultural exhibitions to Melbourne, driving tourism and changing the face of winter in our city.”
Quotes attributable to Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV
“Pharaoh seeks to introduce a new generation of visitors to the perennially fascinating visual culture of ancient Egypt through an unprecedented exhibition of sculpture, architecture, jewellery and more from the British Museum in London.”
Reviewed 20 September 2023