Gawk Like an Egyptian

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum has a message to everyone unimpressed by its collection to date: Tut-tut.

On Saturday, it unveils “Treasures of Egypt,” a 4,000-square-foot stroll through replica Egyptian artifacts culminating in a re-creation of King Tut’s tomb.

The faux bounty became available in 2008, after Luxor began de-theming the inside of its shiny black pyramid. One of the casualties was its King Tut Museum.

“I’m very grateful that MGM Mirage is so in tune with the community,” said Las Vegas Natural History Museum director Marilyn Gillespie.

Four or five offers were received for the reproductions from museums and traveling exhibition companies, according to Felix Rappaport, Luxor president and chief operating officer, who values the collection at $3 million.

“But once our community relations department suggested that we donate it, at that point, it was an easy decision,” Rappaport said. “We felt that it would do a lot more good for us to donate it locally versus trying to make a quick buck.”

Visitors to Luxor’s former museum — replaced by its current “Bodies” and “Titanic” exhibits — may recognize some of the 500 donated replicas, including the boy king’s golden throne and shrine, chariots and outer sarcophagus.

“But we’re doing twice as much with the stuff as the Luxor did,” Gillespie said. “They just did Tut. We’re doing Egypt.”

A $500,000 grant from the Engelstad Family Foundation has enabled Gillespie to envelop Pharoah Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in an exhibit worthy of the 21st century. After being welcomed by a sentinel, his stone face animated via projected film, visitors snake through passageways dotted with glassed-in vases, baskets and pottery, as well as interactive touch-screen monitors.

A re-created Egyptian marketplace imparts the experience of gathering water and grinding wheat.

And a peek inside a mummy also is offered, by rolling what appears to be a portable CAT scan device over replica remains and viewing the results. (The illusion is created by state-of-the-art video technology.)

“Treasures of Egypt” sits on what was an outdoor patio where, years ago, schoolkids ate their bagged lunches. The patio has gone mostly unused since a more preferable picnic spot — Heritage Park — opened nearby in 2000.

“My original thinking was to create another dinosaur pavilion out here,” Gillespie said. “Then we heard about the Luxor and, OK, plan change.”

Although everything in the Egyptian Pavilion is a facsimile, that doesn’t render it unimpressive.

The gold-painted Tut sarcophagus alone cost $250,000 to re-create, according to Rappaport, who describes the replicas as “scrupulously designed” in Egypt, by Egyptian artisans, using the same materials and techniques that produced the originals 3,300 years ago. (In addition, he said, each item was signed off as accurate by the Egyptian government’s head of antiquities.)

Although Gillespie admits she would not have passed up an opportunity to display the genuine articles, replicas have their own benefits.

“The people in Egypt feel very robbed of their history,” she said. “You can go all over the world and see Egypt, and Egyptians today resent that.”

In addition, visitors are guaranteed not to pick up a curse from snooping around.

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at clevitan@review or 702-383-0456.

This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like