Palazzo dei Papi (Popes’ Palace), the imposing palace built in 1266, dominates, with its wide roofless loggia raised on a barrel vault above the street, the historical town center of Viterbo. The twon was the Papal seat for twenty-four years in the 1200s, and in the great hall named ‘Sala del Conclave’, from 1268 to 1271, took place the longest Papal election in history concluded more than a year after the magistrates of Viterbo locked the cardinals in, reduced their rations to bread and water, and removed the roof of Palazzo dei Papi.

This location, granted for the occasion by the Episcopal Curia of Viterbo, until October 28th, will host a remarkable exhibition entitled ‘I tesori di Tutankhamon‘ (Tutankhamon’s treasures) dedicated to the famous Pharaoh, who lived in 1300 BC. On display about 250 perfect reproductions of Egyptian archaeological treasures and 50 Coptic icons, masterpieces of Egyptian Christian art. Lifelike copies of the entire treasure of Tutankhamon will also be exhibited, including its famous golden death mask, with lapis lazuli and vitreous pastes, as well as the sarcophagus, the chariot, the coffer with canopic jars, the great shrine, and the collection of royal jewels. As part of the exhibition, there will also be, the perfect marble replicas of eight Sphinxes from the one and a half miles long avenue leading to the great Temple of Karnak in Luxor.

The exhibition has been realized in collaboration by the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt and Società Italiana di Beneficenza S.I.B. Fondazione Benedetti, together with Fondazione Caffeina.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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