Egypt keeps its secrets until another day

THE Herbert in Coventry is promoting its Secret Egypt: Unravelling Truth From Myth exhibition. But after the opening night tonight I’m afraid it’s still keeping its secrets from me.
The gallery opened up the first night to anyone who wanted to attend, and apparently more than 1,000 people packed in to see their dancers, and the exhibition.


I fled the huge crowd to the upstairs balcony, but by 7pm, half an hour after opening, the gallery still hadn’t opened. The speeches downstairs were almost impossible to make out from upstairs and as people packed around the gallery doors it was sweltering hot, so I decided to return at 8pm.
However, when I did the queue to get in was still snaking up the stairs with the doors being controlled – and I decided exhibits thousands of years old could age a few more days until I saw them, as if it was that packed peering through crowds of people to see treasures is no fun at all.
I’m sure the kudos of seeing an exhibition on the first night drew in lots of excited people, but there must also be others who wondered why they had bothered – the exhibition is on until June!
I went to see the Street Art exhibition the Saturday after the official opening and there were six people in the gallery. What’s the point of cramming people in for one night, rather than trying to attract them at a time they can linger?
If you do want to find out more, curator of Egypt and the Sudan at The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, Karen Exell will be giving a free talk on Magicians and Magical Thinking in Ancient Egypt at the gallery from 12.30-1.30pm on Tuesday.

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