Osiris, Submerged Mysteries of Egypt at Insititut du Monde Arabe

Photo: Christoph Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
 © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, photo : Christoph Gerigk

© Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, photo : Christoph Gerigk

by Jane Rosenstein and Didier Lambert


(Paris, France) – Osiris, Mystères engloutis (submerged) d’Egypte is a fantastic exhibition at Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris which continues until March 6, 2016.  Throughout the exhibition there are explanations in French and English explaining the legend of Osiris.

According to the legend:

Osiris, son of the Earth and the Sky was killed by his brother, Seth who broke  his  corpse into 14 pieces before throwing them in the Nile. Isis, sister and  wife of Osiris  using  her divine powers, reassembled his body before restoring his life and then conceived their son: Horus. Osiris became the Master of Au-dela and  Horus was victorious over Seth whom he fought.

Two ancient cities of Héracléion : Thônis and Canope are featured and written about.

In 1,100 square meters from the large Statue of Osiris   290 objects excavated from under the ocean are exhibited The most recent from excavations, under the direction of Frank Goddio , are very impressive .  About 40 objects from the museums of Cairo and Alexandria are displayed, some of which are being shown for the first time outside of Egypt.

Photo: Christoph Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
Photo: Christoph Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

Since 1881, the discovery in Southern Egypt

© Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, photo : Christoph Gerigk
© Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation, photo : Christoph Gerigk

from the ancient site called  Apisor Canope,an ancient city called Héraculion existed.  There  in the temple of Amon Géreb they celebrated  the mysteries of Osiris. These ceremonies which were written about  in a text 238 B.C.  with a long  naval procession which carried Osiris from the temple to the city of Canope.The objects that are presented are to verify that this procession occurred.

The exhibition is well organized. One shrine has material that explains with hieroglyphics that the stars change positions every 10 days and how we can achieve  360 days in a year.

Another exhibition is about the journey of Osiris from Amon Géreb to the city of Canope.

There is a film showing how they excavate the findings.  Since 1992 Franck Goddio working with ISEAM ( Institut Européen d’ Archéologie ) prospected in the port of Alexandria to  find the precious objects including temples and buildings as well as statues and objects which were submerged in the ocean in 8th century in the Bay of Aboukir.. Once the objects were excavated, studied and restored they were put on traveling exhibitions in several museums in  the Philippines, Egypt, Spain and France.  The audience watched in amazement as this film showed the diversity and their work of excavation.

With the illuminating lights, objects and videos this is  a magnificent exhibition that is both educational and enjoyable.

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