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The genuine and the true: 2

Since I was placed in such a situation as being involved in a project with a high-sounding name called the 'Grand Egyptian Museum Development Project', I had valuable, either honorable or rigorous, experience to successively visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Nubian Museum in Aswan and the Luxor Museum in the ancient capital Thebe, which had boasted of one-time prosperity, in this one week.

As the former Louvre Museum was so, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo remains as it was. Its exhibits are extraordinarily superb but its exhibition techniques are regrettably old-fashioned. Just for that reason, the idea to newly construct the 'Great Egyptian Museum' in Giza, where the pyramids and the sphinx exist, came to reality.

 

As against it, the exhibition techniques of the museums in Luxor, about 670 km to south from Cairo, or in Aswan, about 900 km to south from Cairo, the Nubian Museum in particular, are so splendid that the similar quality can hardly be found in museums in Japan. It was really admirable to me who has been in charge of the exhibition planning of the Jordan National Museum Development Project for more than 3 years.

Its techniques to show the exhibits by flexibly changing visitors' eyes not only horizontally but also vertically are so skilled that individual statues boast of their beauty, not less than Japan's Miroku Bodhisattva.

However, the individual statues, let alone mummies, did not exist in ancient temples in such manners of layout or show-up but must have existed as part of temples. That is to say, a museum is something like a show-window of a department store, and statues or other artefacts are treated as a mere 'show' which has lost an original role.

This is the same as the Miroku Bodhisattva or other artefacts in Japan which are cut off their close connection with an outer world, both of them were once closely connected, as a white bear or a gorilla in a zoo. Although the persons concerned with a museum, archaeologists or art critics called this matter 'being collected', 'being collected' can also be called 'being sealed' in other words, in case of a zoo it may be called 'being protected'.

When I visited Aswan, as having been a good opportunity, I also visited the 'Abu Simbel Temple' which was located about 280 km to the further south from Aswan and along the border with Sudan. Probably you may know that the Abu Simbel Temple was dismantled and reconstructed, lead by the UNESCO, on a hill above the waterline of the Nasser Lake, twice of the Kyushu Island in Japan, in order to save it from the danger of going under water. The lake was made by the Aswan High Dam which was constructed by the late President Nasser, at the risk of his political status, in order to control an annual flood which has offered a benefit, as well as troubles, for a period of thousands of years.

If we go to the site, look up at the temple from the outside, enter into the inside of the temple and carefully observe the details, we can really recognize, without saying anything, that such techniques, costs and labor as further exceeding our imagination had been spent.

However, then the 'genuine' Abu Simbel Temple existing there is the 'true' Abu Simbel Temple as expected?
This is a question that the Abu Simbel Temple exists as a 'genuine object' but it does not lose its 'true spirit', does it?

It is nothing to ask about 'genuine' statues of pharaohs or queens displayed in a museum, because those statues were not created with the intention to separately display one-by-one cutting apart from temples.
The situation that mummies who wished to revive themselves into this world travelling in the other world expose their shameful appearance is a problem further before asking whether it is 'genuine' or 'true'.

(26/9/2005)
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