Time frame: February 2020 – June 2022 Contract value: 615.547,61 LEI (128.719,10 EURO) General objective: the valorization of the Egyptian collection through restored objects displayed in an innovative exhibition.

Project description:

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Transylvanian Museum in Cluj was the beneficiary of several donations that contributed to the creation of an important Egyptian collection. Later, they came under the management of the National History Museum of Transylvania.

The Egyptian collection consists mainly of votive and funerary objects, the most important item being a human mummy placed in a painted wooden coffin from Gamhud (Egypt). The collection also includes some mummified organs or parts of the human body (hand, phalluses, lung), but also some animal mummies - falcon, birds, crocodile; also from the category of funerary items are the ushabti statuettes, of glazed faience or painted wood. The gallery of votive objects is completed by statuettes of deities such as Isis, Osiris, Harpokrates.

ZMEA is an interdisciplinary project, with several specific objectives, including: conservation and restoration of the Egyptian collection, as well as its valorization through a modern exhibition, integrated both visually and informationally in the gallery of international exhibitions dedicated to this subject; training of museographers, restorers, conservators by collaborating with specialists from the Museum of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Fine Arts in Budapest; the use of modern methods of investigation (special photographs with UV and infrared filters, CT and X-rays of the mummies, 3D scans of some objects); making a documentary film, but also a scientific catalog.

Collaborating with institutions such as the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Cluj-Napoca for medical imaging investigations, but also with the Technical University for 3D scans of some items of the collection led to increased knowledge about artifacts and facilitated their interpretation and the estimation of internal degradation. The scientific catalog and the informational materials in the form of printable stickers on the walls, the documentary film, but also recordings of CT and X-ray investigations, of 3D scans will complete the scenario offered by the showcases.