Collections in dialogue
Collections in dialogue

Collections in dialogue

A masterpiece from the National Archaeological Museum of Florence recounted by the Vatican Museums

3 October 2019 – 27 February 2021
Room I, Gregorian Egyptian Museum

After the Museo Egizio in Turin, the Archaeological Museum in Florence, with its Egyptian section (the second in importance in Italy only to the Piedmontese museum) had to be the protagonist of the new appointment with the “Collections in Dialogue”: the exhibition initiative, which started last year, to renew the consolidated policy of cultural openness on the part of the Vatican Museums with the most important Egyptological museums, national and international.
“Each museum collection is a space for dialogue” emphasises the director, Barbara Jatta, “and for this reason we have decided to consecrate special places to highlight research as a moment of dialogue in every sense”.

From 3 October, Room I of the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, having already welcomed the granite statue of the Pharaoh Amenhotep II, will host another important and iconic artefact, on loan from the Egyptian collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Florence.
It is a funerary relief, in painted limestone, from the tomb of a high-ranking dignitary named Ptahmose who began his career at the court of the Pharaoh Sety I and continued under his son Ramesses II (13th century B.C.).
The alternation between the two masterpieces shifts the attention from the iconography of the offering to the divinity – represented by the statue on loan from Turin – to that of the funerary offering, which celebrates the survival of the deceased in the Afterlife through his passage from the earthly dimension to the hereafter.

The tomb of Ptahmose was already known at the beginning of the 19th century. However, it fell into oblivion, buried in sand, not before unfortunately falling prey to numerous lootings.
It was again identified in 1859 by Auguste Mariette, but had to wait until 2010 to be definitively "rediscovered" and "studied" thanks to the excavations of the University of Cairo.