Angela Stienne
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Mummies buried in a garden, and other incidents
in Mummified
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"This chapter looks at incidents where the display and preservation of Egyptian mummies in European museums went wrong. It begins with the example a mummy that was gifted to the British Museum by William Lethieullier. The mummy itself disappeared in the 1800s, but its coffin remains in the collection, bearing the holes from a device that was once used to make it rotate.

The second story told in this chapter relates to the opening of France’s first public collection of Egyptian artefacts in 1827, under the direction of curator Jean-François Champollion. Champollion’s notice for the opening refers to three mummies, but today only one remains. So what happened to the others?

The final part of the chapter recounts the fate of the British Museum’s ‘Unlucky Mummy’, a mummy that is reputed to have brought misfortune to all who have encountered it. Like the Lethieullier mummy, all that remains of it today is a coffin.

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The stories behind Egyptian mummies in museums


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