Saturday, February 02, 2008
Took the kids to see the Excavating Egypt exhibit at the Columbia Art Museum (COMA) today. I have to say it is just not the same as being there. Basically, in Egypt or in Italy, stuff that is older than our dirt kind of heaps up. Yeah, it's pretty neat, and people like to come over and comment on it. But after awhile, how many death masks or 3' olive jars can a person fit in the living room before there is just no place to sit?
It's different seeing these phenomenal pieces displayed behind 1/2 inch thick plexi, in a room where people stand softly and stare knowingly, lips pursed, at a hieroglyphic laden goat head.
It is nice that they post notes you can read next to the objects. In Cairo, if you want to know what you are looking at, be prepared to spend your life savings on a guide who may or may not speak your language, and may or may not know more than you do about the Rosetta Stone, but will be happy to introduce you to an low-priced, locals-only, approved-by-the-government-for tourists, no-pressure-sales, authentic (!) perfume factory owner/rug dealer/camel renter/papyrus maker when you are done at the museum.