Yesterday, I finally managed to see the Tutanchamun exhibition I mentioned earlier. It is impressive all right, although the circumstances didn't quite live up to my (very high) expectations. One particularly annoying point of criticism concerns the exhibition's website, of all things. Being a Mac user on Safari, the webshop doesn't work at all and only returns some unintelligible error messages. Using Internet Explorer you will get to a very cluttered webshop the sole purpose of which supposedly is to sell tickets. Simple, you think? Not there. One should think that UBS, the event sponsor, can do better than that.

Anyway, the EXHIBITION.

There were two impressions that hit me quite strongly.

First was the realisation how beautiful those objects are. Even though they have been made some five thousand years ago, they still stroke me as almost contemporary in their classical (that's definitely the wrong term, but I don't have a better one) design. Just amazing.

The second impression was a bit more subtle and might easily get lost in the multilingual clutter of guides and visitors. It is the distant whisper of power absolute, which those objects must have represented to their contemporaries. And now, disinterested high school kids are making merry around the Great Pharaoh's sarcophagus ... very much reminds me of Shelley's Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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