Hide your shame, mummy!

Manchester Museum has enshrouded 3 mummies formerly displayed au naturel after some visitors complained.

The decision has been greeted with dismay, and not a little derision, by archaeologists and museum aficionados alike.

Josh Lennon, a museum visitor, said: “This is preposterous. Surely people realise that if they go to see Egyptian remains some of them may not be dressed in their best bib and tucker.

“The museum response to complaints is pure Monty Python – they have now covered them from head to foot, rendering the exhibition a non-exhibition. It is hilarious.”

Renown Egyptian archaeologist and secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council on Antiquities Zawi Hawass, on the other hand, is all for the cover-up.

“Covering up the mummies is a very important decision. I myself am of this position on an ethical basis, not a religious one,” Hawass told reporters in Cairo.

“We don’t want people to see our naked bodies when we are dead, so why should we allow ourselves to view the bodies and expose them in this manner?” he asked.

Fair enough, but I seem to recall seeing rows upon rows of nekkid mummies under plexiglass at the Cairo Museum.

And really, what is the point of having them on display at all if they’re completely wrapped in modern cotton? Might as well just throw a bundle of sticks in there and call it Ramses.

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17 Comments »

Comment by TomJoe
2008-05-27 09:22:47

Is there anything people won’t be offended by? Ridiculous. If you don’t want to see nekkid people who have been dead for a few thousand years, don’t go through the friggin exhibit.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-05-27 21:47:39

I’m not sure if the complaints were prudery or “respect for the dead”ery. Either way, the shrouds are a glaring non-solution.

I wonder if the museum is intentionally making the mummies look stupid to make a point about these sorts of complaints. They were a little circumspect about duration.

 
 
Comment by Erin
2008-05-27 10:15:41

Why don’t they just put a little fig leaf where needed? :lol:

Seriously, people were complaining about the NUDITY? I would have thought it would be the ol’ “OMG! There’s dead people in there, Harold! Dead People!”

Comment by livius drusus
2008-05-27 21:48:45

Hey, it worked for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Some temple doowopper is better than Michelangelo now?

:giggle:

 
 
Comment by Dina
2008-05-27 15:39:24

And speaking of Monty Python, “Bring out yer dead, bring out yer dead.”

Comment by livius drusus
2008-05-27 21:50:26

I bet when they take down the exhibit the crew will put a museum worker underneath that shroud and run the whole “I’m not dead yet!” sketch.

Comment by Dina
2008-05-28 07:30:13

You remind me of a certain guide here in Israel who would, when the spirit moved him, secretly send his bus driver ahead into the burial cave. His tourists would then get scared half to death when they came through and saw an arm suddenly rise out of an open sarcophagus. :skull:

Comment by livius drusus
2008-06-02 07:48:10

:lol: Now that’s a quality tour experience. I bet he got monster tips.

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Comment by Clutch
2008-05-27 20:31:00

TomJoe’s comment offends me. As does your photo of a NAKED PERSON, with only a sheet covering them up.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-05-27 21:51:55

You‘re a naked person with only a sheet covering them up.

 
 
Comment by Hello mummy!
2008-05-28 03:25:48

I think they’ve gone a bit too far by wrapping them in sheets. Wouldn’t dressing the mummies up in lingerie have been enough to appease the feelings of those who are squeamish about seeing people naked?

Comment by livius drusus
2008-06-02 07:49:52

:lol: Excellent point. And think of all the cross-marketing sponsorship opportunities! “Just because you’ve been dead 5000 years doesn’t mean you couldn’t use some support. Introducing the Victoria’s Secret Mummy Linen collection.”

 
 
Comment by Dina
2008-06-23 08:34:26

To answer your comment about the guide and tips. Yes, at the end of two-week tours with happy groups, he’d be on the Via Dollar-osa.

Today on Zenit I read about http://www.zenit.org/article-22981?l=english
Displaying Death
Human Dignity in Question at Body World Exhibits

and the “plastination” of dead bodies. :ohnoes:

Comment by livius drusus
2008-06-24 09:17:49

Ah, Body Worlds. Lots of ethical questions wrapped up in that show. I’d say ensuring the raw materials for it don’t come from Chinese prisons is a more pressing issue than the death with dignity thing.

 
 
Comment by Mike M
2012-05-18 23:10:34

I know this is two years old now, but I just saw the guy who invented plastination today on a program on H2. Personally, it makes me a bit squeamish. But I give that guy all the credit in the world for having the guts to do such a controversial art form, and to do it so boldly.

Yes, I think it is art. It’s both art and science. I personally think it’s great.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-05-22 03:00:03

It troubles me. I have issues with the treatment of human bodies as a commodity, even if the result is artistic or scientific. At least von Hagens no longer uses the bodies of executed Chinese prisoners.

 
 
Comment by Mike M
2012-05-22 08:41:35

Von Hagens! That’s his name! I thought he was using bodies of people who actually wished to be displayed in that manner…..I suppose he is now, but I thought that was true all along.

I agree, it troubles me that human bodies are treated that way as well. Which is why it makes me squeamish. But at the same time, the art and science combined that goes into the whole process is quite tantalizing; and shocking at the same time. Some of the best art is shocking.

 
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