Why isn't King Tut at the Met?



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King Tut took the Metropolitan Museum of Art by storm back in 1979. So why isn't the new "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs," opening Friday, back at the Met? Dr. Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, is wondering that too. At a press preview for the show this morning, Dr. Hawass veered from the usual preopening plaudits, calling the Discovery Times Square Exhibition site "too commercial" and saying, "I think King Tut should be at the Metropolitan." He cited differences in "economic goals" that kept the show from returning to the museum, though noted that the Discovery Exhibition, which opened last year, had adequate security and presentation facilities.

Previous stops on the current exhibition's tour include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. "We need really lots of money" that comes from the Tut show, and the country will not loan the King's treasures for free, Hawass said; tickets for the exhibition run $18.50--$28.50 in New York, with half of proceeds going to Egypt and its Grand Egyptian Museum, under construction in Giza.—Allison Williams

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