ROBERT WILSON / FRANCK GODDIO EGYPT. SUNKEN TREASURES
The Egypt. Sunken treasures exhibition in Juvarra’s Scuderie at Venaria Reale has been the only Italian appointment for the international exhibition of over 500 archaeological artefacts from Alexandria, Heracleion and Canopus, ancient towns in the Nile Delta which sank six metres under the level of the Mediterranean in the first centuries of the Christian era.
Backed up by sophisticated geophysical technology, the team led by Franck Goddio discovered their remains, legends, works and objects: from the sensuality of the diorite statue of a queen, to simple daily objects such as bronze fishing hooks, three colossal granite statues over five metres tall and gold coins, the Ptolemy stone weighing 16 tonnes, and the gold wedding ring with an inscription from the New Testament. The remains bear witness to 15 centuries of history from 700 BC to 800 AD: a fascinating journey in this area of ancient Egypt which was in touch with the Mediterranean world of the Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, before the Arab conquest.
The only Italian venue for the exhibition has been enhanced by Robert Wilson’s design and Laurie Anderson’s music and soundscape. The visitor travels down a long, dark corridor that recreates the ambience of the depths of the sea, right to the heart of the exhibition that starts from a brightly lit room, the “contemplation space” dedicated to a single, precious object, which he can contemplate at will. This is followed by strikingly outfitted rooms: Sunken Forest, Treasures Honeycomb, Sphinx Box, Liquid Space, and Waves Power. The visit culminates in a long corridor presented as a dark tunnel (the Coral Tunnel), and the last spectacular room dedicated to the object surrounded by the greatest mystery and sensuality: a female statue – goddess or queen- that seems to rise from the waters and which, with the perfection and beauty of its image, accompanies the visitor to the exit.
EGYPT SUNKEN TREASURES Curated by Franck Goddio
Designed by Robert Wilson
Music and soundscape by Laurie Anderson