LONDON – Four London landmarks will be bathed in golden light every night next week to mark the return to the city for the first time in 35 years of the treasures of Tutankhamun, Egypt’s boy king.


The Tower of London, the Wellington Arch, the London Eye and the O2 arena, which will house "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs", will be lit up in gold to emulate the precious metal that the tomb’s discoverer Howard Carter said he saw everywhere in 1922.

"The Tower of London is a well-known iconic building that is recognized worldwide," said Ann Wilson, head of sales at the Tower.

"So in addition to its own role as a leading tourist attraction and World Heritage Site, these types of lighting projects are an interesting and contemporary way of engaging with the cultural life of London," she added.

Organizers have already sold 325,000 advance tickets for the exhibition which opens on November 15 and runs through August 2008.

When the boy king’s 3,500-year-old burial artifacts first came to London in 1972, queues stretched around the block at the British Museum, as Tut fever took the nation by storm.

By the time the exhibition ended after six months, more than 1.6 million people had handed over the 50-pence admission fee.

Many of the same artifacts are back, although not the death mask which is too fragile to travel from Egypt. However, the adult admission charge is now 15 pounds and the venue, in Greenwich, is far less accessible.

In all, 130 objects will be on display, including 50 from the tomb itself such as a coffin made of gold and precious stones, and the boy king’s royal head dress.

The show, which tours the world raising money towards preserving Egyptian antiquities, attracted 4 million visitors during a two-year stay in the United States.

Via:  Reuters