Egypt moves last chariot of King Tut to new museum

A file photo of a chariot once owned by former Egyptian King Tutankhamun more than 3,300 years. (AFP /Timothy A. Clary)
Updated 05 May 2018

Egypt moves last chariot of King Tut to new museum

  • The chariot was a major feature of the military museum for over 30 years
  • The nearly intact tomb of the 18th Dynasty king was discovered in 1922

CAIRO: Egypt moved the sixth and last chariot of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun on Saturday to the boy king’s vast collection of items in an under-construction museum near the pyramids in Giza.
The unique artifact, a major feature of the military museum for over 30 years, paraded through Cairo with a military police escort to its final resting place at the Grand Egyptian Museum, home to thousands of artifacts spanning different dynasties of ancient Egypt. King Tut’s items, including the six chariots, are to be put on display in halls covering 7,000 square meters of the museum.
The Antiquities Ministry has been gradually moving King Tut’s belongings to the new museum to undergo restoration before they are put on display. The transfer of King Tut’s belongings has become a particularly sensitive issue; In 2014 the beard attached to the ancient Egyptian monarch’s priceless golden mask was accidentally knocked off and hastily reattached with an epoxy glue compound, sparking uproar among archaeologists.
Saturday’s relocation of King Tut’s sixth chariot was preceded by the fourth International Tutankhamun Conference which was attended by a wide range of Egyptologists and archaeologists from the world over.
During the conference, Antiquities Minister Khaled Al-Anani said that the first phase of the museum, including King Tut’s halls, will be completed by the end of this year but the date for the museum’s soft opening has yet to be decided. The museum currently hosts more than 43,200 artifacts of which over 4,500 belong to King Tut alone. The museum’s grand opening is planned for 2022.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass told reporters that excavation work on the tomb of King Tut’s wife, Ankhesenamun, is currently underway and he expects it to bear fruit soon.
“Maybe soon a tomb will be revealed in the Valley of the Monkeys or the western Valley of the Kings,” he said.
The nearly intact tomb of King Tut, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago, was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings, located on the west bank of the Nile river in Luxor. For many, King Tut embodies ancient Egypt’s glory, because his tomb was packed with the glittering wealth of the rich 18th Dynasty, from 1569 to 1315 B.C. He became pharaoh at the age of 10 in 1333 B.C., but ruled for just nine years at a pivotal time in ancient Egypt’s history.


Disney tops earnings estimates ahead of streaming launch

Updated 10 November 2019

Disney tops earnings estimates ahead of streaming launch

  • Revenues in the past quarter were boosted by a 52 percent rise in Disney’s studio operation
  • Disney has become the biggest Hollywood player with the acquisition of studio and TV assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox
SAN FRANCISCO: Walt Disney on Thursday reported better-than-expected quarterly results, fueled by the release of blockbuster films “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” as it prepared for its new streaming television service.
Disney profit in the recently ended quarter was $1.05 billion, down from $2.3 billion a year ago, on revenue that grew 34 percent to $19.1 billion.
The slump in profits came as Disney absorbed key film and television operations of 21st Century Fox and geared up for its launch of the streaming service Disney+ that aims to compete globally against Netflix and others.
“We’ve spent the last few years completely transforming The Walt Disney Company to focus the resources and immense creativity across the entire company on delivering an extraordinary direct-to-consumer experience,” said Disney chief executive Robert Iger.
“We’re excited for the launch of Disney+ on November 12.”
Iger said the company reached a deal for the service to be on Amazon’s Fire TV platform, the latest distribution agreement for Disney+.
Disney shares were up more than five percent in after-market trading following release of the earnings figures.
Revenues in the past quarter were boosted by a 52 percent rise in Disney’s studio operations with box office hits “The Lion King,” “Toy Story 4” and “Aladdin” fueling gains.
The entertainment giant expects revenue in the current quarter to be boosted by the forthcoming release of a sequel to “Frozen” and the final installment of the “Star Wars” film saga.
It will thereafter take a “hiatus” from “Star Wars” box office films but has an array of spin-off shows planned exclusively for its streaming service.
Disney has become the biggest Hollywood player with the acquisition of studio and TV assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
However, integrating Fox into Disney has cost more than expected and the newly added studios have brought in less money than hoped.
Disney saw smaller revenue gains in its cable and broadcasting operations as well as its theme park division.
Iger would not disclose details of pre-sales of Disney+ subscriptions, but said the price — $6.99 monthly — has met with “great enthusiasm” by consumers.
The Disney+ online streaming service will debut in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands before gradually expanding internationally in Europe then rolling out worldwide.
Its films and TV shows will be available, along with the library it acquired from 21st Century Fox. That includes the “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero franchises and ABC television content.
Disney+ will also combine offerings from powerhouse brands including Pixar, with content from Hulu and sports network ESPN.
Apple last week launched a streaming television service that features a budding library of original shows starring big-name celebrities, aimed at winning over its gadget lovers at home and on the go.
The Apple TV+ on-demand streaming service launched in more than 100 countries at $4.99 per month.
Original Apple TV+ shows have so far been met with lukewarm early reviews, but the low subscription price and an offer of year-long memberships free with purchase of the company’s devices was expected to encourage viewers to tune in.
Netflix, meanwhile, has budgeted $15 billion this year for original shows, on top of the billions it has devoted to exclusive productions in recent years.
Amazon, which has deep pockets thanks to its e-commerce and cloud services, has also poured cash into original shows for its Prime Video service.
This sets up a potential spending war among the major streaming players, according to analysts.
Even more competition looms on the horizon, with AT&T’s Warner Media to launch its “HBO Max” in early 2020 after reclaiming the rights from Netflix to stream its popular television comedy “Friends.”
NBCUniversal’s Peacock service is also launching next year.