1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Photographic deception- King Tut exhibit

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 2nd Trick, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. 2nd Trick

    2nd Trick Guest

    Went to the Tut exhibit in Philadelphia this weekend.

    Tut's golden mask is the centerpiece of all advertising, including posters all over the city, the internet site for the exhibit (www.kingtut.org), the admission tickets, etc. But THE MASK IS NOT ON EXHIBIT. I don't know if I can emphasize how dissapointing (and frankly fraudulent) I feel this is. The single most iconic item related to Tut, and advertized everywhere, is not on display. Also not on display were the golden chariots, thrones, etc. There were really only 6 or 7 items actually from Tut's tomb.

    Technically the show is not using false advertising, the mask that is used for all the ads is the “Canopic Coffinette of Tutankamun” This is a miniature coffin (about 16 inches long) that was used to store Tut's liver.

    but the image is highly cropped to seem the same as the mask. The brochure does name the item correctly, but I think that 99% of all viewers would assume it is the mask. Interestingly, the coffinette is more ornate and more impressive (at the same level of detail) than the famous mask that everyone thinks of, but the mask is of course much larger. See the images below for the actual item, how the item is presented, and compare that to the mask. I think its clear from the cropping that they are trying to evoke the mask. They could have cropped less tightly to make it obvious that wasn't the mask, but still give an impressive photo.

    Sixteen inch long coffinette:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Advertising poster:


    Actual mask:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    YES, there are "obvious" differences between the mask and the coffinette, but they are NOT differences that the general public should be expected to recognize. They CROPPED the image to mislead us -- whether that decision was done with malice or apathy for our rights, we shall never know. But they KNEW, and they tried -- and succeeded -- in getting far too many people to cough up an absurd amount of money to see the an exhibit disturbingly short of RECOGNIZABLE, ICONIC items. I feel that this was nothing short of false advertising, and no amount of scholarly indignation that we "should have known" will change that.
  2. husawis

    husawis Guest

    Steve, I am completely at a loss to understand "...whether that decision was done with malice or apathy for our rights, we shall never know."

    Just what "right" do you think was infringed? I see no deception in what was provided either as advertisement nor as exhibit. Maybe I am just missing your point. I think these exhibits are to educate the general public. From your response, it educated you; And your expose has educated others.

    Criticism of false advertisement is always needed and must be made public to protect the public. But in this case, again unless I am missing something I think your criticism, in my opinion is misapplied.
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. Just an innocent bystander here but King Tut is about as historically newsworthy as anything related to the Titanic. One would expect to see at an exhibit a cross section of the noteworthy artifacts related to the boy king. Six or seven items would hardly qualify as an exhibit, in my opinion.

    What was the charge, if I might ask for this "exhibition?"

    I admit to being a bit cynical about the purpose of the exhibition. If the intention was actually to present information to the public, the owners of the museums would charge only a minimal amount to cover handling, exhibition and security, as would the donating museum genuinely offer the items "at cost" to the world to share in the archaeological significance of the Tut find.

  5. If I remember correctly the first time I saw the exhibit in Chicago in the early
    70’s it was free and the mask was there. I went again in 2005 in LA the mask was gone and it was about $60.00 per person plus $15.00 if you wanted headphones. They also put a time limit on how long you could view the exhibit.
  6. We're doing a Tut exhibit right now - the items are replicas, but you wouldn't necessarily gather that from the images in the marketing materials:


    I can tell you with authority that museums have to fight very hard against all the other forms of entertainment to draw visitors, and most museums rely on the generosity of donors and grants to even stay open, so don't judge too harshly if they employ a little PT Barnum in the advertising. The costs of renting and insuring exhibits of great antiquity are astonishingly high.
  7. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    Currently the exibit is at the Franklin Institute Science Museam in Philadelphia. the folowing is from there website. Also, much of the initial media coverage in PA and the Philadelphia area covered in detail about the death mask.

    here are the ticket prices

    Individual Rates*Monday - Thursday
    Adult (12+)
    Child (4-11)


    Individual Rates*Friday - Sunday
    Adult (12+)
    Child (4-11)
    Add one IMAX show


    Franklin Institute Members
    Adult (12+)
    Child (4-11)


    Audio Tour GuideMonday - Sunday
    Adult & Senior
    Child, Member


    *Science Museum closes at 5pm daily. King Tut exhibit open until 9pm daily with the last entrance at 8pm.
    **Senior - 62+ or AARP. Student/Military with valid ID

    Tour Information
    Thirty years after Tutankhamun’s treasures last visited the United States and more than 3,000 years after his death, the treasures of the boy king will be coming to Philadelphia, the final stop on the current U.S. tour.
    More than doubling the size of the original 1977 exhibition Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will be bringing close to 130 pieces of Egyptian antiquities, many outside of Egypt for the first time, to The Franklin Institute. The 18th Dynasty, also known as the “Golden Age”, produced some of the most exquisite pieces of art for some of Egypt’s most famous rulers. Within the exhibit witness not only a child-sized throne made of of wood, gesso, gold, ivory, and copper alloy but also artifacts from the five other Pharaohs tombs, which ruled during the “Golden Age”.
    Look into the eyes of a “boy king” recreated by CT scans and explore the mystery that surrounds King Tutankhamun’s death. Four previous examinations have given a glimpse into how the king came to an early rest but it was not until 2005 during a five-year Egyptian research and conservation project did a true picture come to light.

    Close to 130 artifacts comprise Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. 50 artifacts excavated from the tomb of King Tutankhamun that range from his royal diadem or crown to the confinettes that contained his organs. In addition to the artifacts from Tut’s tomb there are more than 70 pieces from tombs of rulers also part of the “Golden Age”. All of the antiquities within the exhibit date back more than 3,500 years.

    Dates and Times
    February 3, 2007 – September 30, 2007
    Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

  8. husawis

    husawis Guest

    Steve - no I am not joking! The goal of these exhibits is educational. That they make money is fine with me. That brings in investors and assures that exhibits like this don't end up in someone's basement or a dusty old storage area in a museum somewhere. I realy fail to see your problem.

    All the information I have been able to look at indicates that the exhibit was fairly advertised and the prices were posted for the public, so where is the fraud?


    Feb 22, 2005
    New Jersey
    My wife and I and our two children, (ages 10 and 7) went to see the exhibit about 2 weeks ago. We went on a Tuesday evening at dinner time and thee was nobody there. We were able to take our time and see all the items closeup. The exhibit is divided up into several rooms so you never really know what will be seen in the next room. We finally came to the Tut room and there were a few small artifacts. We were excited to go into the next room to finally see the expected Tut artifacts only to find that we were dumped into the gift shop! We were disappointed to say the least especially the children. It was still a great display but I have to agree it is a bit of false advertising. My wife had seen the exhibit years ago in NYC and she said they had many more artifacts at that exhibit.
  10. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    I don't see it as misleading or false advertising. It's just marketing. From the information provided, I wouldn't be led to believe that I'd be seeing Tut's death mask at all. I can understand that you're upset though and you should channel your energy to the museum where they can appreciate your concern and actually do something about their marketing.
  11. jeremyInMT

    jeremyInMT Guest

    My brother just got back from Egypt, so I think I'll save some pennies and look at his D70 pics when he gets them posted. :biggrin:
  12. That is my top place I'd like to go to. I've read and seen so much about Egyptian culture all my life it would be fantastic to see Tut's artifacts up close along with visiting the Valley of the Kings. That'll never happen; the wife isn't interested one bit.

    My next place is Paris; for roughly similar reasons. As soon as the $ Euro exchange rate subsides a bit she said ok!

  13. I was fortunate to travel to Egypt 20 yrs ago and visited Tut's tomb as well as the various artifacts in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The magnitude of the treasures and their worth is just mind boggling. To stand within the tombs and see the vibrant, painted images on the wall dating back thousands of years was extremely fascinating. To date, it still is my favorite trip I've ever taken.

    Having seen the burial mask in the museum in Cairo and then seeing the image on the museums brochure you posted, even though it's been 20yrs since I've thought about it, made me think it wasn't the actual mask. I didn't recall the diagonal blue lines that are on the brochure image being a part of the mask. But for me, I've seen the real deal. I can see one being disappointed but read the OP as being a bit over reacting.

    Someone mentioned the great cost involved in exhibiting artifacts like this. The Egyptian government tightly controlls its treasures as historically many of its treasures have been removed to other countries and reside in their own museums and those governments refuse to return them. Items like the beard of the Sphynx located in the British Museum and the bust of Nefertiti in the Berlin museum. I specifically traveled to Berlin with the primary intent of viewing Nefertiti's bust. It was well worth it. Many say once you visit Egypt it lives in your blood afterwards. To some degree, due to my fascination with it, I believe it to be true.
  14. jeremyInMT

    jeremyInMT Guest


    Ever since high school I've wanted to go to Egypt as well. I'm sort of living vicariously through my brother on this one. As soon as he has the shots posted, I'll link them in a post here on the site so keep an eye out!
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.