Treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb on display in Paris

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A photographer walks by wooden Shabtis in gilded Nemes head dress and broad collar displayed as part of 'Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh', an exhibition in partnership with the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Grande Halle of La Villette in Paris, France, Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP)
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A gilded wooden "Ostrich Hunt" fan is displayed as part of 'Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh', an exhibition in partnership with the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Grande Halle of La Villette in Paris, France, Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP)
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A Tutankhamun's wishing cup in the form of an open Lotus and two buds is displayed as part of 'Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh', an exhibition in partnership with the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Grande Halle of La Villette in Paris, France, Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP)
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A visitor walks by a wooden guardian statue of the Ka of the king wearing the Names Headcloth displayed as part of 'Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh', an exhibition in partnership with the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Grande Halle of La Villette in Paris, France, Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP)
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The gold sandals from mummy of Tutankhamun are displayed as part of 'Tutankhamun, the treasure of the Pharaoh', an exhibition in partnership with the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Grande Halle of La Villette in Paris, France, Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP)
Updated 21 March 2019
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Treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb on display in Paris

  • Some items are returning to Paris more than 50 years after a similar exhibit attracted 1.24 million visitors

PARIS: Original artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb are on display in Paris in an exhibit celebrating the centenary of the discovery of the most famous pharaoh’s treasures.
Some items are returning to Paris more than 50 years after a similar exhibit attracted 1.24 million visitors, a record that still stands for the French capital.
Organizers say more than a third of the artifacts are leaving Egypt for the first and last time before going to a new museum being built near the Giza Pyramids in Egypt.
Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter, about 3,400 years after his death.
The exhibit “Tutankhamun, treasures of the golden pharaoh” is on view at Paris’ Grande Halle de la Villette from March 23 to Sept. 15, the second stop on a 10-city international tour.


Tourists follow ‘Game of Thrones’ trail in Northern Ireland

Updated 20 April 2019
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Tourists follow ‘Game of Thrones’ trail in Northern Ireland

  • Since the series began in 2011, fans have started to flock to the coastal caves and ruined castles of the British province where much of the show was shot
  • Tourism Northern Ireland estimates the magical show drew 120,000 visitors to the province in 2016

BELFAST: Wielding a replica broadsword, Indian tourist Akshay Mannur duels with friends — re-enacting scenes from “Game of Thrones” on the Northern Ireland pilgrimage trail for devotees of the blockbuster fantasy TV show.
Since the blood and guts series began its rise to prominence in 2011, fans have started to flock to the coastal caves and ruined castles of the British province where much of the HBO television production was shot.
“Every new step is like something new, it’s more than my expectations,” 23-year-old student Mannur marvelled.
“It’s a beautiful country — Northern Ireland is just amazing.”

Tourism Northern Ireland estimates the magical show — in its final season — drew 120,000 visitors to the province in 2016, generating £30 million (35 million euros, $39 million).
One in six visitors now comes to Northern Ireland to visit shooting locations, according to their estimates.
Along the largely coastal trail, a short drive outside the capital of Belfast, that popularity is clear to see.
A steady hum of buses and coaches are marshalled in and out of parking lots on strict schedules, and sleepy village shops throng with tourists.
“The last week, I think on Saturday past, we had a bus with 24 nationalities on it,” said tour guide Patrick Rogan at the mouth of the Cushendun Caves, the site of a pivotal plot point in the series.
“We had people from Patagonia, from New Zealand, from Japan, from Russia, from South Korea and Europe, so I think that tells its own story.”
Since 2012 his employer — the “Stones and Thrones” tour — has offered daily outings out of Belfast, manned mainly by guides who have acted as extras on the show.
Today they run at least two full buses a day, he said, competing with at least four other companies offering a similar service.
Other more bespoke tour services offer immersive experiences — axe-throwing, archery, and photo opportunities with a pair of wolves that starred in the epic series.

A popular comparison holds that “Game of Thrones” is to Northern Ireland tourism what “Lord of the Rings” has been to New Zealand.
But Northern Ireland’s very recent bloody past during the so-called ‘Troubles’ — when 3,500 were killed in 30 years of sectarian strife — makes the boom particularly welcome.
“The dark history that was here is coming out,” said Irish actor Liam Cunningham, a stalwart character in the series now feted as the most expensive to ever be filmed for the small screen.
“The place is blooming, and for us to have this show here and be part of that transition is joyful.”

Cunningham was speaking at the opening of a touring exhibition of costume and scenery pieces in Belfast, the same week as the new season of the series premiered.
Ranked displays of dragon skulls, intricately crafted weapons and interactive exhibits are preceded by a gallery of landscape prints, depicting the countryside shooting locations.
A caption on one image reads “Views to die horribly for,” whilst another reads “Sun, sea and savagery,” referring to the show’s reputation for bloodily killing off major characters.
They are testament to the canny local tourist board, making efforts to cement the link between their territory and the series.
“I think our association with such a global success helps to transform the image of Northern Ireland across the globe,” said John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism Northern Ireland.
“In many ways that gives you PR that you just simply couldn’t buy.”
With the final season of “Game of Thrones” under way, the fever pitch devotion to the series may be about to end.
But with spin-off projects in the pipeline and a studio tour development due to open in Northern Ireland next year, the province still hopes for tourism revenues.
“We think this still has longevity,” said McGrillen.