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Egypt of Glory: Amos Rex and Kumu’s joint exhibition brings ancient treasures to Helsinki and Tallinn


What does ancient Egypt bring to mind today? Pyramids, sphinxes and the mum-my’s curse? In October 2020, Helsinki’s Amos Rex and Tallinn’s Kumu Art Muse-um unveil an unparalleled dual exhibition on the history of ancient Egypt. The Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, has loaned the material on display and provided the story that accompanies it. The Museo Egizio has one of the world’s most important collections of ancient Egyptian art and culture outside of Egypt. The Amos Rex exhibition is open 9 Oct. 2020–21 Mar. 2021.

Lid of the sarcophagus of Ibi, 664-610 BC. © Museo Egizio
Lid of the sarcophagus of Ibi, 664-610 BC. © Museo Egizio

The history of Ancient Egypt may be difficult to comprehend, as it covers such a long period. For instance, Queen Cleopatra lived closer to our own time than the era when the pyramids of Giza were built. Of all ancient cultures, it is perhaps Egypt with its pharaohs and its mythology that has fascinated humanity most through the ages.

Through 10 themes, Amos Rex presents the whole span of life and death in ancient Egypt, from everyday items to golden amulets, from animal mummies to large sculp-tures. Delve into the ancient Egyptians’ annual cycles, worldview and state structure, and learn about the Egyptians’ gods and religion, including how and why the de-ceased were mummified. Altogether the material forms a fascinating, vibrant picture of this ancient civilisation.

As museum director Kai Kartio says: “Amos Rex, like Kumu, is strongly oriented to the present moment and the future. So why are we now presenting ancient Egypt? To build the future, we must understand the past. Amos Rex is known for the feeling of stepping into another world. This is once again our goal: amazing objects in an all-encompassing exhibition architecture, drawing the visitor in to their atmosphere. Partic-ular attention has been paid to ensure that it is safe to spend time in the exhibition, and that it is also compelling for children and young people.”

This rich culture, revealed through archaeological excavations, still influences our daily lives: for instance our 365-day, 12-month calendar dates back to ancient Egypt. No wonder then that the glory of Egypt does not fade even as the millennia pass.

In the words of the ancient Egyptians: Ankh wedja seneb or “be alive, strong, and healthy”!


The exhibition is complemented by an extensive programme that includes thematically suitable horror movies curated with the Night Visions festival, tours for children, lectures on lost cities and mummymania, thematic tours, games nights featuring the ancient board game Senet and magical art workshops.

In conjunction with the exhibition is a book (in Finnish only) commissioned by Amos Rex and published by the Finnish Literature Society (SKS), MA, Egyptologist and author Mia Meri’s non-fiction book Egypti – Kala sarkofagissa ja muita mysteereitä (“Egypt: The Fish in the Sarcophagus and Other Mysteries”). The book introduces readers to ancient Egypt and provides fascinating answers to many ancient puzzles. Meri, who took part in preparing the Amos Rex exhibition, completed her long-planned book in time for the exhibition.

The Amos Rex and Kumu exhibitions open on consecutive days; Amos Rex’s in Helsin-ki opens to the public on 9 October 2020 and Kumu Art Museum’s in Tallinn on 10 October 2020.

Egypt of Glory – The Last Great Dynasties
Amos Rex, Helsinki: 9 Oct. 2020–21 Mar 2021
Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn: 10 Oct. 2020–21 Mar 2021

Press Conference:
Amos Rex exhibition press conference at the museum, 11–12am, Thursday 8 October.


Press images:

Museum Director Kai Kartio, Amos Rex
Museum Director Christian Greco, Museo Egizio
Curator Anastasia Isakova, Amos Rex
Egyptologist Mia Meri
Curator of Education Melanie Orenius, Amos Rex




Lid of the sarcophagus of Ibi, 664-610 BC. © Museo Egizio
Lid of the sarcophagus of Ibi, 664-610 BC. © Museo Egizio

About Amos Rex

Amos Rex
Amos Rex
Mannerheimintie 22-24


Amos Rex is an art museum where the past, present and future meet. The iconic Functionalist Lasipalatsi (glass palace) and the new gallery spaces under its undulating square provide 10 000 m2 for unique experiences both under- and aboveground and on the silver screen of Bio Rex. Amos Rex’s exhibition programme extends from the newest, often experimental, contemporary art to 20th-century Modernism and ancient cultures. #amosrex

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Latest releases from Amos Rex

Summer at Amos Rex: Blick and Between us exhibitions blend visual art, music and architecture27.4.2021 07:55:00 EEST | Press Invitation

Summer 2021 at Amos Rex is a dialogue between visual art, music and architecture. Blick, an exhibition by visual artist Raija Malka and composer Kaija Saariaho, fills the museum’s large exhibition hall with a multisensory total work of art. The Between us exhibition presents six works that were born when Karoliina Hellberg, Tero Kuitunen and Raimo Saarinen were given free rein to create new art for areas outside of the exhibition hall, within the museum and Bio Rex. The exhibitions both open on 12 May. Blick remains open until 22 August, while Between us continues until 5 September. In addition, the Sigurd Frosterus collection returns to the museum’s collection hall.

Sommaren på Amos Rex: bildkonst, musik och arkitektur möts i utställningarna Blick och Between us27.4.2021 07:55:00 EEST | Kutsu

Sommaren 2021 på Amos Rex bjuder på en dialog mellan bildkonst, musik och arkitektur. Bildkonstnären Raija Malkas och kompositören Kaija Saariahos utställning Blick erövrar den stora utställningssalen med ett multisensoriskt helhetskonstverk. På utställningen Between us visas sex verk som tillkom då Karoliina Hellberg, Tero Kuitunen och Raimo Saarinen fick fria händer att skapa ny konst för rum utanför den egentliga utställningssalen, i museets och Bio Rex lokaler. Utställningarna öppnas samtidigt den 12.5. Blick avslutas 22.8, medan Between us pågår fram till 5.9. Dessutom visas en hängning av Sigurd Frosterus samling i samlingssalen.

Amos Rexin kesässä nähdään kuvataidetta, musiikkia ja arkkitehtuuria yhdistävät Blick ja Between us -näyttelyt27.4.2021 07:55:00 EEST | Kutsu

Amos Rexin kesä on 2021 on kuvataiteen, musiikin ja arkkitehtuurin vuoropuhelua. Kuvataiteilija Raija Malkan ja säveltäjä Kaija Saariahon näyttely Blick valtaa museon suuren näyttelysalin moniaistisella kokonaistaideteoksella. Between us -näyttelyssä on esillä kuusi teosta, jotka syntyivät, kun Karoliina Hellberg, Tero Kuitunen ja Raimo Saarinen saivat vapaat kädet luoda uutta taidetta varsinaisen näyttelysalin ulkopuolelle, museon ja Bio Rexin tiloihin. Näyttelyt avautuvat yhtä aikaa 12.5. Blick päättyy 22.8. ja Between us jatkuu vielä 5.9. asti. Lisäksi Sigurd Frosterus -kokoelman ripustus palaa esille museon kokoelmasaliin.

Amos Rex auki 11.2. alkaen ennakkoon varattaville vierailuille28.1.2021 13:59:24 EET | Tiedote

Amos Rex avaa ovensa torstaina 11.2. ennakkoon varatuille vierailuille. Ainutlaatuiseen Egyptin loisto -näyttelyyn pääsee ainoastaan verkosta ostetulla ennakkolipulla tai oppaan johdolla, lippuja ei myydä paikan päällä. Ennakkolippuja myydään tuntikohtaisella saapumisajalla, jotta vierailijoiden määrää voidaan kontrolloida tarkasti. Tuntikohtainen kapasiteetti pidetään hyvin maltillisena, jotta 2 metrin turvaväli pystytään varmistamaan. Kapasiteettia säädetään tarpeen mukaan.

Verk av den banbrytande videokonstnären Bill Viola visas på Amos Rex år23.9.2020 10:55:59 EEST | Tiedote

Amos Rex program för nästa år består av inhemsk samtidskonst och en omfattande utställning över videokonstnären Bill Violas verk. Separatutställningen är Violas första i Finland. Karoliina Hellbergs, Tero Kuitunens och Raimo Saarinens utställning Between us och bildkonstnären Raija Malkas och kompositören Kaija Saariahos utställning Blick skulle egentligen ordnas år 2020, men på grund av coronaviruset flyttas utställningarna till våren och sommaren 2021.

Amos Rex brings pioneering video artist Bill Viola to Finland in 202123.9.2020 10:52:10 EEST | Press release

Amos Rex’s offerings next year include Finnish contemporary art and an extensive exhibition featuring video artist Bill Viola – his first solo show in Finland. Two exhibitions planned for 2020 have been rescheduled to the spring and summer of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Between us by Karoliina Hellberg, Tero Kuitunen and Raimo Saarinen, as well as Blick by visual artist Raija Malka and composer Kaija Saariaho.

Amos Rex tuo 2021 Suomeen videotaiteen uranuurtajan Bill Violan23.9.2020 10:50:00 EEST | Tiedote

Amos Rexin ensi vuoden ohjelmisto koostuu kotimaisesta nykytaiteesta ja videotaiteilija Bill Violan laajasta näyttelystä. Kyseessä on Violan ensimmäinen yksityisnäyttely Suomessa. Koronaviruksen aiheuttaman poikkeustilan johdosta vuodelle 2020 suunnitellut Karoliina Hellbergin, Tero Kuitusen ja Raimo Saarisen näyttely Between us sekä kuvataiteilija Raija Malkan ja säveltäjä Kaija Saariahon näyttely Blick siirtyvät kevääseen ja kesään 2021.

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