Speech by CS at opening ceremony for "Eternal Life - Exploring Ancient Egypt" exhibition (English only) (with photos/video)
Ms Nadja Race (Director of International Engagement of the British Museum), Mr Anthony Chow (Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club), Mrs Esther Blythe (Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate-General Hong Kong), Professor Ip (Chairman of the Science Sub-committee of the Museum Advisory Committee, Professor Nancy Ip), Ms Michelle Li (Director of Leisure and Cultural Services), Ms Karen Sit (Museum Director of the Hong Kong Science Museum), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. Welcome to the opening ceremony of the special exhibition "The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Eternal Life - Exploring Ancient Egypt".
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the Motherland and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). To share the joy of this memorable occasion, the HKSAR Government organises a wide array of cultural events throughout the year, including blockbuster exhibitions in collaboration with various world renowned museums such as the Palace Museum in Beijing, the British Museum and the Musee du Louvre. Just a few weeks ago, I officiated at the "Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 years" at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. It gives me extra delight to join you today to mark the opening of the "Eternal Life - Exploring Ancient Egypt" exhibition, another highlight of the celebration programme.
The British Museum houses a mammoth collection of the world's cultural heritage of all natures. Among its priceless treasures, its collections on Egyptian mummies are arguably among the most captivating and appealing to visitors. They offer an illuminating insight into ancient civilisation, the life and death of ancient Egyptians, and in particular, their pursuit of immortality.
With the advance of technology, the British Museum has now unlocked the secrets of its mummies by computerised tomography imaging, or what we called CT scanning. This non-invasive method of examination has allowed researchers to discover unknown details about mummification without disturbing the make and the bodies of the mummies. The exhibition we open today, therefore, will promise a new experience to its visitors.
The exhibition will showcase six mummies who lived and died between 1 800 and 3 000 years ago and presents three-dimensional visualisations to unveil the mysteries behind their coffins and wrappings. Alongside the mummies is a display of some 200 relics related to the individual mummies including toys, jewelleries and musical instruments to enhance visitors' understanding of the daily lives and beliefs of ancient Egyptians.
With the concerted efforts of archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists and conservators, the exhibition crosses the boundaries between art, history, culture and science. In this connection, the Hong Kong Science Museum has developed a number of multimedia programmes which apply the latest technologies and a series of interactive exhibits to illustrate the principles of CT scanning as well as science and technology in ancient Egypt. I am sure that visitors will not only appreciate the rich culture of Egyptian civilisation, but will also recognise the pivotal role played by science and technology in the journey of discovery and innovation. We also hope that the exhibition, coupled with the accompanying fun-filled activities and programmes, will foster our youngster's inquisitive minds and inspire their interest in the learning of science, technology and history.
I wish to take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to the British Museum for bringing these treasures to Hong Kong. I would also like to thank the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong for its ardent support. As Asia's world city and a place where East meets West, Hong Kong aspires to forge closer partnerships with world-class cultural institutions. We look forward to our further collaboration in the years to come. My gratitude and appreciation, of course, also goes to the sole sponsor of the exhibition, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Trust has been most generous in supporting many blockbuster exhibitions and various events in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. It has also made tremendous contribution to the development of heritage and culture in Hong Kong, consolidating Hong Kong's status as an international cultural metropolis.
On this note, I wish the exhibition a resounding success and everybody good health, good luck and good fortune. Thank you very much.
Ends/Thursday, June 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:49
Issued at HKT 18:49