Blockbuster King Tut show breaks French attendance record

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A major show of artifacts found in the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun in Paris has smashed visitor records for a French exhibition, after being extended to cope with huge crowds.

The La Villette hall in northeast Paris has sold more than 1.3 million tickets for “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh”, organizers said Tuesday.

The largest number of Tutankhamun artifacts ever to have left Cairo are on display in the show, which has been described as a “once in a generation” event about the young Egyptian monarch.

The exhibition, which opened on March 23, is set to close on September 22 after a one-week extension.

King Tut was also the subject of the previous attendance record for a French art exhibition, a 1967 show at the Petit Palais in Paris that attracted 1.2 million visitors.

After Paris, the show travels to the Saatchi Gallery in London in November, and then continues touring other cities until 2024.

More than 150 treasures from the boy king’s tomb -- including 60 which have never left Egypt before -- were assembled for the Paris exhibition.

The unparalleled collection is being transferred to the enormous new Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids at Giza, which is due to open next year.

The Louvre in Paris has also loaned one of its top Tutankhamun pieces to the show, a statue of Amon, the king of the gods, protecting the pharaoh.

The Egyptian antiquities ministry is sharing in the proceeds of the show.

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