At Cincinnati History Museum: Napoleon, Egypt reunited for exhibit

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CINCINNATI – Napoleon in Egypt, a history exhibit exploring the time the French conqueror spent in one of the world’s greatest civilizations, will open March 3 at the Cincinnati History Museum for a two month stay.

This exhibit brings two cultures together to study Napoleon’s fascination with Egypt, the roots of Egyptology and the amazing impact these countries had on one another.

As an incident in history, Napoleon’s agenda in conquering Egypt remains unclear.

During his expedition, hundreds of administrators, artists, poets, botanists, zoologists, surveyors and economists were intermingled with the French soldiers.

Shortly after a devastating military defeat in Egypt, Napoleon abandoned his army to return to France and appoint himself Emperor. Eventually, the forsaken French soldiers were forced to surrender to the British.

Began Egyptology.

However, the “tag-a-long” savants were triumphant and brought back to France enough information to fill Descriptions de L’Egypte, a 22-volume authoritative tome on Egyptology.

It was during this occupation that the Rosetta Stone was discovered. Inscribed in Greek, hieroglyphics, and demotic, the Stone enabled linguists to translate other Egyptian writings. A reproduction of the Stone is included in the exhibit.

Other artifacts to be on display include a depiction of The Battle of the Pyramids, a medal commemorating the return of Napoleon to France, and a section of the Book of the Dead, along with many etchings, letters, and political cartoons from the time Napoleon’s people were in Egypt. The exhibit will also feature a small theatre where visitors can watch a brief video on Napoleon and his time spent in Egypt.

Steps to mummification.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to take a closer look into the mummification process, including a demonstration of all of the steps the ancient Egyptians used in mummifying their pharaohs and noblemen.

Napoleon in Egypt runs through May 31 at the Cincinnati History Museum at Cincinnati Museum Center, Admission to the Cincinnati History Museum is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors, $4.50 for children 3 through 12 years-of-age and $3.50 for children 2 and under. For more information, call 513-287-7000 or visit the museum Web site at www.cincymuseum.org.

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