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Mummies of the World debuts in Los Angeles summer 2010

Posted: February 17, 2010 6:55 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2010 9:00 p.m.
 
BOCA RATON, FLA. -- American Exhibitions, Inc. announced today that the city of Los Angeles has been chosen for the world-debut of Mummies of the World, the largest traveling exhibition of mummies ever assembled.

Unlike any exhibition in history, Mummies of the World presents a never-before-seen collection of both accidental and intentionally preserved mummies, presented with reverence and dignity -- and for the first time allowing one to scientifically and historically delve into the past lives and rich history of the world's cultures, as it is presented at the California Science Center. This groundbreaking exhibit that opens July 1 will feature more than 150 objects and artifacts from the four corners of the globe.

With its debut in Los Angeles - the entertainment capital of the world, where movie screen mummies are depicted as sometimes vengeful, this never-before-seen exhibition will dispel any preconceived notions about mummies.

The exhibit will reveal how the scientific study of mummies provides a window into the lives of ancient peoples from every region of the world. In addition to its sheer scale and scope, a unique feature of this exhibition is its attention to state-of-the-art mummy studies.

Through engaging interactive exhibits, Mummies of the World illustrates how current science tools enable us to study mummies in new and non-invasive ways, allowing unprecedented insights to past cultures and civilizations.

"We are excited to launch Mummies of the World in Los Angeles, a city that is lauded for its commitment to arts and culture," said Marc Corwin, President of American Exhibitions, Inc. "As witnessed in the phenomenal success of the King Tut Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art just five years ago, Southern California residents have an appetite for antiquities, which give us a glittering glimpse into the past."

The collection includes ancient mummies and important artifacts from Asia, Oceania, South America and Europe as well as ancient Egypt. The exhibition features specimens in varied states of preservation, from nearly every continent.

Mummies of the World also demonstrates how mummification is often a natural process; one which occurs in hot, dry desert sands of Peru around 1400 A.D. or resulted from extreme acts of nature as in the eternal ice of the Italian Alps; as well as in remote European moors and bogs, and will display the famed Capuchin Monk mummies on loan from the world-renowned Museum of The Catacombs of Palermo.

Mummies of the World also features an Egyptian Antiquity gallery that is second to none; with mummies and artifacts dating as far back as 6,500 B.C. This innovative exhibit serves to educate visitors about a variety of mummies and their respective cultures from all areas of the world.

"The Science Center is thrilled to be hosting the premiere of this exhibition on the fascinating phenomenon of mummies. The exhibition is unique in its use of hands-on science to help people to understand how science tools enable us to gain insight into mummies, their environments and civilizations. It has been a pleasure to work with the American Exhibitions, Inc. team in developing the exhibit so that it appeals to multiple styles of learning," notes Jeffrey Rudolph, President of the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The concept for the exhibit began after the German Mummy Project discovered 19 specimens within the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums in Mannheim, Germany. After researching and learning about mummies and the process of mummification, both accidental (natural) and intentional (artificial), it was obvious the collection had a story to tell.

Mummies of the World feels privileged that 15 museums in six countries have entrusted American Exhibitions and invited them to showcase their artifacts. The exhibit's broad scope of human and animal mummies gives patrons a chance to see real mummies in-person, an event that is extremely uncommon in today's museum practices.

Mummies of the World will thoroughly engage the visitor; and suggests thought-provoking issues such as: Who were they? Where are they from? How did they live? How did they die? What secrets do the mummies hold about the past...and what clues do they bring us for the future?

The three-year tour - poised for record-breaking attendance - will visit museums and science centers in six other prominent cities in the United States. The journey commences this July 1 in Los Angeles for the exhibition's world-debut.

"At the end of the Mummies of the World's three-year run, I hope to show the world that real mummies are beautiful and compelling and a rare find," said Corwin. "I want to educate museum goers not only about the mummies themselves, but also about the origins of each specimen, their culture and the world that ceases to exist in modern times."

"This exhibition offers a unique opportunity for Americans to learn about the lifestyle, health and culture of ancient people from around the world," said Heather Gill-Robinson Ph.D., renowned anthropologist and Director of Science and Education for American Exhibitions, Inc. "Using state-of-the-art scientific and forensic research, this impressive multi-media exhibition unveils the secrets of mummies around the world."

American Exhibitions, Inc.'s mission is to produce world-class touring exhibitions for science centers and museums that physically, intellectually and emotionally excite, educate and engage visitors who experience them.

As a longstanding member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the American Association of Museums (AAM), American Exhibitions, Inc. is one of the largest, privately funded exhibitioners in the United States. American Exhibitions, Inc. became an industry leader by recognizing the need to develop world-class exhibits for small- to mid-size museums, and consequently produced the exhibition "Our Body: The Universe Within" in 2006.

This exhibit featured real human bodies preserved through a process known as plastination. The exhibition was an overwhelming success, breaking attendance records in each of the seven major science centers and museums where it was presented throughout the United States.

In 2010, American Exhibitions, Inc., in association with the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums of Mannheim, Germany, will unveil the much-anticipated "Mummies of the World" exhibition at select science centers and museums throughout the United States for a limited three-year tour.

About The California Science Center
The California Science Center's mission is as follows: "We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives."

The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

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