Cleopatra Exhibit: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt

Que inveja! Ah, se no Brasil fosse assim. Chega a ser emocionante! O que poderíamos ser e não somos. :(

"Powerful," "stunning" and "fascinating" were some of the words that area teachers used Tuesday afternoon to describe the exhibition "Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt" at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

The exhibition will open to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, but about 1,600 teachers and guests signed up for a free preview Tuesday afternoon at the Museum Center's invitation. About the same number were scheduled to tour the exhibit Wednesday, said Chris Jacobs, director of group sales for Aurora, Ohio-based Arts and Exhibitions International, which organized the exhibit with National Geographic.

The center often holds previews of its biggest exhibitions to allow educators to consider fitting them into school curricula and interest them in bringing classes for field trips, said Elizabeth Pierce, the center's vice president of marketing and communications.

Tracy Alley, the teacher and coordinator of the gifted programs for Madeira City Schools, said she was planning to tell parents in a newsletter that they should bring their children to see the exhibit. She said her second-graders became Egyptologists for a semester.

"It's a high-interest topic," she said. "It's a way to tap into that natural curiosity about something they see on the Discovery Channel."

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Gayle Abdullah, a Cincinnati Public Schools speech pathologist, said she came to the exhibit to see how she might adapt it to the needs of her students who have language disabilities. Her fifth-graders are studying Egypt, and she hopes to explore the similarities and differences between their textbooks and the exhibit.

"I think it's something that kids need to see," she said. "They need something concrete in order for them to really understand."

Toni Tumbusch, a resource teacher for first through eighth-graders at St. Pius X Elementary in Edgewood, said she was stunned by some of the artifacts in the exhibit, such as a table on which Cleopatra may have made offerings.

"I can't believe how fortunate we are just to have the privilege of seeing some of these things, things that nobody has seen for millennia," she said.

With the civil unrest in Egypt and the recent looting of artifacts from the Egypt Museum, Tumbusch said, she was glad that these Egyptian artifacts were safe at the Museum Center.

"It's very timely that this is coming here now at a time when there is so much change and upheaval going on in Egypt," said her husband, Tom Tumbusch. "I hope that this exhibit, and others like it, raise our awareness enough to ensure that this kind of work continues without being hindered by all of the change that's happening over there."

The Museum Center is the second of five planned North American stops for the exhibit, which premiered at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute last summer. It includes about 150 artifacts from around Cleopatra's time that archaeologists recovered from submerged ancient Egyptian cities and from an area west of Alexandria, where Cleopatra may be buried.

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