The Saddest Pharaoh Ever
I love the Egyptian Museum at the Louvre. In fact, no matter how many times I vow to see some of the many other galleries, I always end up here, surrounded by canopic jars and vividly-coloured shabti statues. The Louvre has such a fantastic collection because Napoleon was in there fast at the turn of the 19th century, jumping the gun on the British, bagging up all the Egyptian loot he could get his greedy little emperor hands on: sarcophagi with their mummies intact, whole walls of temples, gigantic granite sculptures of the pharaohs and gods, the full contents of tombs and temples. This one inner sarcophagus covered in gold leaf had the saddest face I've ever seen. I'm not sure who it belonged to, but it is as if he were looking at the desecration of the ancient civilization and becoming overwhelmingly chagrined by it all. I'll always go back to gaze into his amazingly lifelike eyes and to wish him well for the coming of the new kingdom...
By Anne McGlynn
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