Turin. The second largest Egyptian Museum in the world

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Oct 292021Turin. The second largest Egyptian Museum in the world The Egyptian Museum of Turin is the second largest and most important museum in the world dedicated to the Nilotic civilization: but what does Egypt have to do with Piedmont? Why is the second largest Egyptian museum in the world in Turin?
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The Egyptian Museum of Turin is the oldest museum in the world dedicated entirely to the Egyptian civilization and is considered the largest and most important, in terms of value and quantity of finds, second only to that of Cairo.
After major renovation and expansion works, in April 2015 the Egyptian Museum of Turin awarded in Europe for its papyri was again inaugurated with an exhibition area more than doubled (with an extension of 60 thousand square meters), exhibitions, and areas for teaching.

In 2019 the museum recorded over 853,000 visitors, making it the sixth most visited museum in Italy. It is also among the pearls of Turin celebrated by Forbes.

When you visit the Egyptian Museum of Turin you cannot fail to be fascinated and amazed by the huge amount of historical artifacts that it houses inside, including statues, papyri and ancient jewels.
However, a question arises: how did all these unique and precious finds come to Turin? To find out, we need to go back in time, to the early 1800s, when, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt, a real fashion for collecting Egyptian antiquities broke out throughout Europe.

Among the greatest collectors of the time, there was the Piedmontese Bernardino Drovetti, born in Barbania, in the province of Turin. Consul General of France during the occupation in Egypt, Drovetti collected over 8,000 pieces in this period including statues, sarcophagi and mummies, papyri, amulets and various jewelry.

It then happened that, in 1824, King Carlo Felice purchased this large collection for 400,000 Lire, to which he added other finds of classical antiquities from Casa Savoia, such as the Donati collection, giving life to the first Egyptian Museum in the world.

That same year, the French archaeologist and Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion arrived on a visit to the Savoy city, admiring the incredible collection of the Egyptian Museum and uttered a phrase that became famous: "The road to Memphis and Thebes passes through Turin".

The Savoy passion for Egyptian culture, however, dates back to long before the foundation of the Egyptian Museum in Turin. Evidence of this is the Mensa Isiaca, exhibited in the first room of the museum, a bronze plate on which figures of divinities, with Isis in the center, and hieroglyphs stand out. The Mensa Isiaca was purchased by the Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele I, in 1628.

The dynasty of the Savoy, in fact, was keen to link the history of Turin with that of illustrious civilizations such as the Nilotic one. Hence the interest and subsequent study and collecting that made the Savoyard city the western center of studies on Egyptian culture.

We bet you cannot wait to visit this wonderful city and immerse yourself in Egyptian history. Start planning your holidays and book a luxury villa for rent in Italy.



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