Museum, COSI plan Egypt projects

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

The stars -- or the pyramids, perhaps -- have aligned, allowing two of the city's largest cultural organizations to collaborate in presenting two sides of ancient Egypt.

The Columbus Museum of Art and COSI Columbus will showcase consecutive major exhibits this year:

* "To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures From the Brooklyn Museum" -- to run from Feb. 13 to June 7 at the museum -- explores ancient Egyptian beliefs about death and the afterlife.

More than 100 objects -- including statues, coffins, jewelry and vessels -- will tell the story of mummification, funeral processions and rituals; and the contents of tombs.

* "Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science " -- to run from May 30 to Sept. 7 at COSI -- will be an interactive show featuring a human mummy, several animal mummies, forensic facial reconstructions and a life-size prototype of a human mummy.

"You've got the museum and COSI each able to play to their strengths," said David Chesebrough, COSI president and chief executive officer.

"Their exhibition covers the cultural/artistic side, and ours shows how real scientists put together this puzzle. So it's not the same exhibit twice but coming at the same topic from different angles."

Also, the two organizations will join with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and five suburban libraries to host exhibit-related events and promote Egypt-themed reading and activities for children.

"We always wanted to do a major collaboration with the libraries, too, so this is huge," said Nannette V. Maciejunes, executive director of the art museum.

The partnerships resulted from serendipity, Maciejunes said.

A few years ago, while the museum was arranging for the Brooklyn Museum collection to travel to Columbus, she explained, "We came to find out that COSI was simultaneously working on an Egypt project.

"And I said: 'What do you mean you're doing Egypt? We're doing Egypt.'"

The two had been seeking a collaborative project, Chesebrough said.

"It was an alignment of the stars."