The sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti I is the most treasured object within the Sir John Soane’s Museum’s collection, and, according to exhibition curator Joanna Tinworth, “one of the most important objects ever found in Egypt”. Two hundred years after its discovery, the Soane presents a show about its journey to the museum and about Giovanni Battista Belzoni, the 19th-century Italian explorer who discovered it. “I think that we get an insight into Belzoni’s passion, energy and talent, but also a surprising sense of his duty and dedication,” says Tinworth. Belzoni recorded the interior of the tomb through 300 watercolours, 23 of which are on display in the exhibition.
(Photo: Jan Adam Kruseman, Portrait of Giovanni Belzoni, “the Great Belzoni,” 1824, © Daniel Katz Gallery, London)