Published: 29 June 2009
One of Northern Ireland’s best-known objects - the Ulster Museum’s famous “mummy” - has returned to the building as part of the programme of preparations for re-opening in the autumn.
Takabuti, an Egyptian mummy from the 7th century BC, was brought back to a new home inside the museum where she will be the centrepiece of a new display exploring life and death in ancient Egypt. As well as the major focus on Takabuti herself, visitors will learn more about the process of mummification, the gods worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and some of their customs and practices (get closer by clicking the images).
Tim Cooke, Chief Executive of National Museums Northern Ireland said: “Takabuti is one of thousands of objects making their return back to the UIster Museum over the coming months. We are approaching the final stages of this project and have raised more than £17 million.
“Takabuti’s new home is part of a total refreshment of the history galleries and one of many exciting new developments within the museum. We hope she will fascinate new generations of visitors and that those who have been so familiar with her over the years will come and see her new home and the wider changes we have made.”
Takabuti was brought to Belfast from Thebes in the Nile Valley by Mr Thomas Greg from Holywood, Co Down. She was unwrapped on 27th January 1835 in front of specially invited members of the Belfast Natural History & Philosophical Society where Rev. Dr. Edward Hincks, an expert in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, informed the meeting that the mummy’s name was Takabuti and that she was a wealthy, married woman aged between 20 and 30 years old.
Winifred Glover, Curator of World Cultures at the Ulster Museum, said, “Takabuti is a wonderful representative of the great civilisation of Ancient Egypt and has long been a favourite for our visitors. When the Ulster Museum reopens, the public can see Takabuti in a brand new gallery dedicated to exploring Egypt’s rich history.
“Takabuti has spent the last 2 ½ years in specially conditioned storage. She has been well looked after and we are delighted that she is going on display in such fabulous new surroundings.”
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