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Mummies of the World

Video: Mummies, mummies, so many mummies!

The highly-anticipated Mummies of the World exhibition will make its Florida premiere at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) on Friday, April 27, 2012.  The presentation in Tampa will mark the fifth stop of the exhibition's exclusive seven-city tour. This astonishing collection of mummies and related artifacts includes a 6,420-year-old child mummy from Peru, dating 3,000 years before King Tut.  Mummies of the World is the first exhibition of its kind to be showcased at MOSI. The exhibition presents a never before seen collection of rare mummies from across the world including South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Egypt that spans eons of time and transcends history.

With its astounding collection of 150 specimens and objects, Mummies of the World is the largest exhibition of real human and animal mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. Through modern science and engaging interactive and multi-media exhibits, the exhibition reveals how the scientific study of mummies provides a window into the lives of ancient people, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations. It also demonstrates that mummification - both through natural processes and intentional practices - has taken place all over the globe, from the hot desert sands of South America to remote European bogs.

"Mummies of the World will change visitors' understanding of what mummies are and what can be learned from them," said Wit Ostrenko, president and CEO of MOSI. "The mummies in this exhibition have been studied using cutting edge, non-destructive technology to provide insights into lives and cultures of long ago.  Modern science truly can shed new lights on very old ideas and MOSI is honored to offer such a perception-changing and thought-provoking collection to the region."

In addition to the Detmold Child, the rare and ancient objects presented in Mummies of the World include the Vac Mummies, a mummified family from Hungary believed to have died from tuberculosis; the Baron von Holz, a German nobleman found tucked away in the family crypt of a 14th century castle wearing his best leather boots; an ancient Peruvian woman naturally mummified in the warm desert air, with mysterious tattoos on her face and chest, and long black hair intact; and a howler monkey from Argentina, with its fierce expression and adorned with a feather skirt and headdress.

"We are excited to bring Mummies of the World to Tampa," said Marc Corwin, president of American Exhibitions, Inc. "Most people think mummies come from Egypt and are wrapped, but mummies come from all over the world. The exhibition is changing centuries-old perceptions about what the general public thinks about mummies and providing insight into the lives and cultures of these ancient people. Inside every mummy is a story waiting to be told, and Mummies of the World is here to tell those stories."

The concept for the exhibition began with the rediscovery of 21 specimens within the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums of Mannheim, Germany in 2004. A consortium of mummy researchers, known as the German Mummy Project, used DNA analysis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT), radiocarbon dating and mass spectrometry to learn more, and engaged the cooperation of 21 world-renowned museums, organizations and collections in seven countries to make this innovative exhibition possible.

Mummies of the World premiered to sell out crowds in Los Angeles at the California Science Center in July 2010. It quickly became a major attraction and one of the most successful exhibits in the Science Center's 13-year history.  The debut of the exhibition at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in June 2011 attracted attendance by visitors from all 50 states and more than 20 countries in just one month after opening. Prior to opening in Charlotte, the exhibition had sold more than 18,000 advance tickets - the most sold in the history of the exhibition - and has also received a total of more than half a million visitors since its World Premiere.

Mummies of the World will be on exhibition from April 27, 2012 through September 9, 2012.  Tickets are now on sale and reservations are highly recommended. Mummies of the World is a timed-entry exhibition, so before making a purchase, visitors will be asked to select the date and time of their visit. Tickets can be purchased by calling (813) 987-6000. 

MOSI will be offering special packages that include regular admission plus Mummies of the World, as well as a Mummies of the World only ticket.  Please call (813) 987-6000 for pricing and/or reservations.

For more information, visit mosi.org or mummiesoftheworld.com.

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