Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb revolves around an extremely well preserved mummy of a 40-year-old priest, Nesperennub. His body has travelled far and wide across the globe, from its home in the British Museum, with its fellow 90 mummies, to stops at the likes of Brisbane, Japan and, most recently, Mumbai.
Visitors receive a pair of 3D-glasses to see the virtual unwrapping of Nesperennub with the help of a CT scan.
Star Trek nerds will be delighted to have a familiar voice above their heads. It’s Patrick Stewart, the man who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who lends his voice to the 22-minute video that sheds more light on Nesperennub, sans the horrific stereotypes characteristic of Hollywood blockbusters like Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy franchise. Instead, we learn how the 3,000-year-old, 1.62 m tall man lived, and how he probably looked.
Highlights of the exhibition include religious artifacts from various points of the priest’s life, including his life as a priest and of course, his death. The display of amulets, including the popular Eye of Horus and the scarab beetle, that had to be put on his body before mummifying is particularly enthralling.
There are also mini rooms within the exhibition specifically plastered with wallpapers relevant to each of the room’s contents. For example, in one containing statues symbolising Shabtis [tiny servants to serve people in the afterlife], visitors will be engulfed with dark walls of multiple statues, meticulously highlighted by strategically hung spotlights.
These elegant rooms of subdued shades will inevitably lead you to the room where Nesperennub lies. The excellently preserved colours of his coffin shine against the black walls of the room, and the simplicity of the background directs attention to him, the rightful star of the exhibition.
However, what truly set apart this exhibition from others featuring mummies, like the one National Museum of Singapore had in 2010, are the many activities the ArtScience Museum has planned for everyone in the family. Self-guided quests catered for various groups of children and teenagers from the age of 3 to 16 are available. A 45-minute, interactive workshop on the embalming process also promises an educational, enjoyable afternoon for all.
Tickets for the exhibition are at $13 for locals and $15 for tourists. However, if you’re up for a day of exploring into different times in history, grab tickets to both Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb and The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya for $20 and $24 respectively.
Photos courtesy of the ArtScience Museum.