This spectacular exhibition shows 300 statues and ritual objects, sarcophagi and idols from sixteen centuries retrieved from the depths of the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast. The exhibits originate from the legendary cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, which became submerged in the eighth century AD. They provide answers to many age-old questions.
The exhibition tells the mythical story of Osiris, the Egyptian God of rebirth, ruler of the underworld and hero of a mystical cult. It describes the sensational archaeological discoveries on the sea floor of the once flourishing, now submerged trading cities of the Nile Delta. The objects that French archaeologist Franck Goddio and his team found in the depths of Abu Qir Bay and rescued from the sea throw new light on the history of late Egyptian civilisation, at a time when the Greeks and Romans had already gained a foothold in the land of the pharaohs.
Before exhibited in Zurich, the show has already been presented at the Institut du monde arabe in Paris and the British Museum in London. Franck Goddio and the Liechtenstein-based Hilti Foundation, which has been sponsoring the underwater excavations for more than twenty years, chose Museum Rietberg as the exhibition’s next and only German-speaking venue.
Organised with the Hilti Foundation and the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine (IEASM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt.