Wednesday December 6th, 2023
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Belgium’s Queen Matilde Opens Exhibition at Baron Empain Palace

Discover the fascinating history of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium's visits to Egypt at this temporary exhibition in Heliopolis.

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Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Crown Princess Elizabeth joined Egypt's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, and Belgium’s Ambassador to Egypt, François Cornet, as they opened a temporary exhibition at the Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis.

Entitled ‘1923-2023: Queen Elisabeth of Belgium in Egypt’, the exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the visit of Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians and her son, Crown Prince Leopold, to Egypt.

The exhibition features a collection of photographs, films, and paintings that highlight the strong friendship between Egypt and Belgium, focusing on Queen Elisabeth's journeys in 1923 and 1930 as she popularised Egyptology across the Western world.

The exhibition includes images of the Queen attending the official opening of Tutankhamun's burial chamber in 1923 and visiting other monuments during a Nile cruise. The exhibition also shows King Albert and Queen Elisabeth's 1930 visit to Egypt, during which the Queen visited archaeological sites guided by archaeologist Jean Capart.

For the first time, films documenting Queen Elisabeth's voyages to Egypt are being shown. They were kept in the Royal Film Archive of Belgium and have been recently digitised. Personal albums of the Queen, as well as images from the archives of the Royal Palace in Brussels, the library of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, the Fonds Capart, and private archives are also on display.

The exhibition emphasises the close cultural and economic relations between Belgium and Egypt that go back to the 19th century. It is presented in a context appropriate to these historic relations, as the Empain Palace in Heliopolis was originally built by Belgian entrepreneur Édouard Louis Joseph, and was recently restored with the help of Belgium as part of a collaborative restoration project.

‘1923-2023: Queen Elisabeth of Belgium in Egypt’ will run until Friday, April 14th.