The exhibition reopens to the public with a modified itinerary, which enhances further finds from the Egyptian Milanese collection. In place of the materials that had been loaned by some museums and returned to their respective locations, important works of the museum restored during the months of closure are now exhibited. Among these, the Amduat papyrus stands out, a model of sculpture with a female head with a vulture headdress and a stele from the Edda Bresciani collection, acquired by the museum in 2001.
The exhibition, in addition to some reproductions of the splendid drawings of the Milanese Egyptologist Luigi Vassalli (1812-1877), also includes the comics created by the participants in the Comics Contest, launched on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition in May 2020 and which will see the awarding of the winners with a Lombardy Museums Subscription and themed gadgets.
The itinerary of the exhibition, which has just under 150 works, remains substantially unchanged: the world of the divine in Egypt is illustrated through sculptures in bronze, stone and faïence, votive reliefs, sarcophagi, mummies and elements of the funerary kit, all belonging to the Egyptian collection of the Civic Archaeological Museum of Milan.
The multiplicity of gods and their forms in the art and spirituality of ancient Egypt is one of the most characteristic aspects of this millenary civilization. The existence of so many divine figures, whose names are known from the textual sources that often accompany the images, has aroused admiration since ancient times towards the inhabitants of the Nile valley, considered particularly devout and in possession of occult knowledge. On the other hand, the use of hybrid figures that combine animal forms with human forms, as well as the particular cult paid to some animals, have been viewed with suspicion by cultures marked by anthropomorphism as the only way of depicting divinity. Egyptian spirituality, from this point of view, would be nothing more than the reflection of a primitive, idolatrous culture dominated by fear of natural forces. How to put these different looks back together? What lies behind this incredible wealth of images that still attract us today, and not only for their undoubted formal elegance?
The only way to answer this question is to try to enter the spiritual and conceptual universe of this civilization, which has elaborated in an original way its own vision of the cosmos and the role that is reserved in it both for man and for the gods. This vision has been tirelessly translated into the forms deemed most appropriate to express what is neither visible nor representable: the divine and what is beyond death.