Egyptian mummies from British Museum to go on display in Hong Kong’s Science Museum
Lang Lang, Berlin Philharmonic and Hong Kong Phil will perform two separate concerts on ‘Singles Day’ on November 11 as part of handover celebrations
As part of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the handover, six Egyptian mummies from the British Museum will be coming to Hong Kong for the first time in June. They will undergo CT scans in the city so the public can see what is inside them.
And on “Singles Day” on November 11, world-renowned pianist Lang Lang, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic will stage two separate concerts on either side of the harbour, with the concerts being screened live as far as Sha Tin and Yuen Long.
The events will be part of a series of cultural and recreational activities to celebrate the 1997 handover. They will cost HK$190 million, with the cultural part taking up about half, according to Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Michelle Li Mei-sheung.
The mummies exhibition, to be held in the Science Museum, will take a “scientific angle” to the 200 Egyptian cultural relics on display from June 2 until October.
“Visitors will be able to see for the first time what is inside a mummy,” Li said. “The organs are all gone, but thanks to MRI technology, you can see what is inside the bandages through a screen.”
The mummies will include a priest, a singer, a child and an aristocratic woman. There will also be relics belonging to each of them, including musical instruments, toys and cosmetic utensils.
In addition, an exhibition on the Louvre will be presented later this month in the Heritage Museum. It will feature over 100 items, including a Rembrandt drawing.
Artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum will feature in two exhibitions starting in July. A display about the Hall of Mental Cultivation will be held at the Heritage Museum. It will explore the hall’s architecture and how emperors studied, governed and appreciated art there.
An exhibition on the birthday celebrations of empresses in the Qing dynasty will be held in the Museum of History.
Responding to a question from the Post about why the programmes to celebrate the handover were dominated by foreign and mainland names, Li said: “The international line-up shows Hong Kong is an international city. Actually we also have programmes by Hong Kong artists, such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Chinese opera. We also sponsor Hong Kong artists to go overseas.”
Ribble Chung Siu-mui, a member of the Arts Development Council, said the celebrations should have provided a good platform and opportunity for Hong Kong artists.
“We are celebrating the anniversary of the handover, but the handover of what? Of Hong Kong, so it should be Hong Kong people celebrating the occasion. We have a lot of good artists. They work very hard but they are not getting much help.”
Meanwhile, Li said that after entry to five museums was made free of charge last August, average attendence had risen 27 per cent. But she said there was no plan to scrap charges for other museums.
She added that the department was also considering raising library fees, saying some had been static “for decades,” though there was so far “no timetable” for the move.