Rare chance to see treasures from around the world as Egyptian museum exhibition opens in Canberra


A new ancient Egyptian museum exhibition is opening in Canberra, offering visitors a rare chance to see treasures from the ancient world.

The Discovering Ancient Egypt showcase is opening at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) and runs until next September, featuring over 220 cultural artefacts dating back to 3700 BCE, according to the NMA.

“The stunning art, exquisite jewellery, detailed sculptures and intricate funerary materials on show are mesmerising,” Director of NMA, Dr Mathew Trinca said.

“Visitors are going to be truly captivated by this exhibition.”

Various archeological moments will be highlighted, including the finding of the Rosetta Stone during Napoleon’s military campaign to Egypt, and the rediscovery of the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun, said the NMA.

The exhibition is in collaboration with the acclaimed Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, along with various other Australian museums, which has been undertaking archaeological research for decades.

“This beautifully designed exhibition gives the visitor more knowledge and profound understanding of ancient Egyptian culture,” Director of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Dr Wim Weijland said.

“It is important to show heritage and archaeology from all over the world in many museums around the world.”

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Andrew Barr, believes the new exhibition will boost the amount of visitors to Canberra from Australia and overseas, providing economic benefits.

“I am excited by the arrival of Discovering Ancient Egypt in Canberra, its fascinating artefacts and displays, and the opportunity to attract interstate and international visitors to the nation’s capital over an almost nine-month period,” Barr said.

Discovering Ancient Egypt is on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra from 15 December 2023 to 8 September 2024. Tickets $25

This exhibition includes mummified people and animals

The exhibition includes the display of mummified people and animals. There are five mummified individuals: the women Sensaos and Ta(net)kharu, or Tadis; the man Harerem; an unknown male and an unknown female. The people are displayed in a separate room. The original linen bandages that wrap each of these individuals are intact.


The Australian tour of the exhibition is a partnership between the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, the National Museum of Australia, the Western Australian Museum and the Queensland Museum Network.

The Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition is supported by the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) Program.

This program provides funding for the purchase of insurance for significant cultural exhibitions. Without AGIEI, the high cost of insuring significant cultural items would prohibit this major exhibition from touring to Australia.