16 November 2023: Direct from Egypt, the highly anticipated exhibition, Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs, opens to the public at the Australian Museum on Saturday 18 November, 2023 and runs until 19 May 2024.

This spectacular new exhibition - in Australia for the very first time, will showcase 182 exquisite antiquities direct from the pyramids and museums of Egypt, together with their extraordinary stories. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see treasures of these ancient wonders, right here in Sydney.

Ancient Egypt, the land of pharaohs, extraordinary art, cultural splendour, and home to the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World: the pyramids, has captivated the imagination of people across the globe and across generations. The name of its legendary pharaoh - Ramses the Great, has also endured.

Now, visitors to Sydney can discover the legacy of Ramses the Great and the treasures of the ancient pyramids for themselves.

Director and CEO, Australian Museum, Kim McKay AO said that Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs is the most prestigious cultural exhibition to be hosted by the AM in over a decade.

“Ramses the Great was a phenomenon – a beloved father, incomparable warrior, and prolific builder whose legacy is both political and cultural. Responsible for countless temples, pyramids and statues, the first ever Peace Treaty, and an enormous, influential family, the stories of Ramses have been retold through generations” McKay said.

Gold mask of King Amenemope.
Gold mask of King Amenemope on display in Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition. Image: Anna Kučera
© Australian Museum

“The era of Ramses the Great was also a time of incredible artistic innovation. This is all on display in this extraordinary exhibition through signature pieces including: the famous coffin of Ramses the Great, the priceless golden masks of Amenemope, the exquisite carved sarcophagi of Sennedjem, the extraordinary necklace of Psusennes, and mummified animals including cats, crocodiles, and even a lion cub.”

“The exhibition also reveals the unique and sophisticated artistry of the era, as well as the spiritual life of the people during this time. With many priceless treasures from the ancient tombs and pyramids, Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs will also entrance audiences with interactive, multimedia elements and a thrilling VR experience that takes visitors right inside his tomb,” McKay explained. “This is a truly immersive exhibition that puts one of history’s most legendary figures into context with dynamic, modern storytelling.”

NSW Minister for the Arts, Music, Night-time Economy, Jobs and Tourism, the Hon John Graham MLC, said that Australians are fortunate to have these irreplaceable and historic artefacts here in Sydney.

“Exhibitions of this scale don’t come around very often – they’re complex undertakings that involve hundreds of people and years of negotiation.”

“Following the AM’s award-winning renovations, we now have the kind of exhibition the new spaces were made for with Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs and these superb artefacts that have survived 3,000 years. I urge everyone to take a trip back in time to see Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition, an incredible opportunity to visit Ancient Egypt without going further than the Sydney CBD!”

Curator of the exhibition, renowned archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Dr Zahi Hawass said the one of the most wonderful things about this exhibition is that it reveals the world Ramses took over when he became pharaoh.

“Our modern world is so different from Ancient Egypt. With this exhibition visitors will be immersed in the world of Ramses and discover a completely different way of life.”

“Ancient Egypt is a part of history that continues to reveal itself and inspire people across the globe. Even today, the world is thrilled with each new discovery that’s unearthed. It holds an enduring fascination for us all,” Hawass said.

“Works of art – statues, jewellery, carvings - made by Ancient Egyptians were intended to honour and immortalise revered pharaohs. They’re well on their way to doing so, given so many still remain today, bringing their stories to life. These are just a few of the exquisite items included in the exhibition.”

“This is a rare opportunity for Australian audiences to discover the unique craftsmanship and sophistication of objects and artworks dating from within the Bronze Age of 3000 BCE to the Classical Age 1st century CE,” Hawass added.

Ramses & The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition at the Australian Museum.
The coffin of Ramses II discovered in 1881 within the Royal Cache at Deir el-Bahari, on display at Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition. Image: James Alcock
© Australian Museum

For those interested in learning more about Ancient Egypt, the AM is presenting ‘Gateway to Egypt’ an exclusive season of lectures, conversations, and experiences. Experts, Scholars and Curators will provide a glimpse into life on the Nile Valley and help us understand how the ancient Egyptians viewed their world.

To extend the visitor experience, there are a range of activities, talks and experiences including a thrilling Virtual Reality experience that takes you on a whirlwind tour of the Abu Simbel temples and the Tomb of Queen Nefertari. In cinematic motion chairs visitors will fly through temples and sandstorms and even come face-to-face with Ramses’ mummy in this electrifying animated journey.

Individual Audio Tours are also available, providing a compelling narrative for visitors as they walk through the exhibition and there is a full colour catalogue available for sale, containing essays and in-depth background information about Ramses the Great by Dr Zahi Hawass.

From 18 November, Bistro Gadi, the AM’s new rooftop restaurant, will provide visitors with a casual but elegant dining experience on Level 4. With views overlooking Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral and Woolloomooloo Bay, Bistro Gadi focusses on fresh seasonal produce with flavourful mains, vibrant salads and wraps prepared daily.

Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs is presented in partnership with World Heritage Exhibitions, Neon/Global and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, with the support of Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW Blockbusters Funding initiative, Adventure World and Accor Hotels.

A $20,000 Travel Competition is also on offer, through Ramses & the Gold of the Pharoahs! Visitors inspired by their Egyptian experience at the Australian Museum can venture event further afield by entering the travel competition courtesy our Major Exhibition Partner Adventure World. Walk in the footsteps of Ramses, visit the treasures of ancient Egypt, or find treasures in the many destinations the custom travel specialist, Adventure World, has on offer. One lucky winner will receive a $20,000 voucher to design their own trip to Egypt or any of Adventure World’s destinations and to explore the treasures of the world in person.

Competition opens at 9am on 16 November 2023 and closes at 9pm on 19 May 2024 (AEST).

Visitors enter via a QR code which is found on a panel at the end of the exhibition and are asked to answer one question. Enter online at https://australian.museum/visit/whats-on/ramses/adventure-world-competition/

Ramses & The Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition at the Australian Museum.
Gold vase found in the tomb of Psusennes I, used to pour water required for libations on display at Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition. Image: James Alcock
© Australian Museum


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About the Australian Museum

The Australian Museum (AM) was founded in 1827 and is the nation’s first museum. It is internationally recognised as a natural science and culture institution focused on Australia and the Pacific. As custodian of more than 22 million objects and specimens, the AM is uniquely positioned to provide a greater understanding of the region through its scientific research, exhibitions, and public and education programs. Through the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI), the AM also plays a leading role in conserving Australia’s biodiversity through understanding the environmental impacts of climate change, potential bio-security threats and invasive species. Visit Australian Museum for more information.

About Neon

NEON, formerly Cityneon, is a global leader in creating and producing experiential entertainment. NEON enjoys worldwide partnerships with The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Entertainment for Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

and Marvel Avengers Station: Evolution, 20th Century Studios for AVATAR: The Exhibition, Hasbro for Transformers: The Experience, NBCUniversal for Jurassic World: The Exhibition, and Lionsgate for The Hunger Games: The Exhibition. It

also has a partnership with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment to produce two brand-new, unique global touring-themed art experiences inspired by the Wizarding World set to debut in Cologne, Germany, in December 2023, and DC

slated to launch in 2024. The Company also partners with the governments of Egypt and Peru for their original artefact IP experiences, Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs and Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru, respectively,

plus authentic artefact tours Pompeii: The Exhibition, Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, and Victoria the T. Rex. The Group’s IP experiences are powered by ANIMAX, a fully owned subsidiary and a world-class creative animatronics powerhouse that specialises in research and development, engineering and entertainment robotics, with state-of-the-art facilities located in Nashville, US, Wuxi, China and the Middle East. NEON’s global partnerships have enabled the Group to bring compelling experiences that leave lasting memories to millions of visitors in more than 70 cities to date globally. For more information, please visit www.neonglobal.com.

About World Heritage Exhibitions

World Heritage Exhibitions (WHE) is renowned for producing, promoting, and designing the finest quality museum content on the globe. Their exhibitions have captivated, educated, and inspired visitors in virtually every major market on the planet. With a combined 150 years of exhibition experience, the WHE executive team has been responsible for touring many of the world’s most valuable treasures, including objects from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, relics from Cleopatra’s Royal Palace, artefacts from the Titanic, items from the discovery of Pompeii, and more. Their exhibitions have now been enjoyed by more than 30 million people spanning six continents, and their collective expertise has come together in one of the industry’s most influential touring exhibition companies.

About Adventure World

Adventure World is an established and passionate group of global adventurers.

With more than 40 years of experience, Adventure World has been curating authentic and sustainable travel experiences to guarantee its guests experience the lifeblood of a destination, with the flexibility of customisable itineraries. All Adventure World product is underpinned by its Travel with Purpose charter, to celebrate and conserve culture, create socio-economic benefits for communities, protect wildlife and restore marine life all the while creating authentic opportunities for like-minded travellers aid us in the mission. We work closely with our partners TreadRight Foundation, Animals Asia and the Australian Museum, and work towards meeting 11 of the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Development Goals and putting into action, our travel with purpose philosophy.

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