A graffiti sprayed depiction of Tutankhamun.

Past exhibition

1 December 2022 – 29 January 2023

Room 3

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The year 2022 marked 100 years since archaeologist Howard Carter first peered into the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun, which had lain in darkness for more than 3,000 years.

To mark the anniversary, the British Museum commissioned a work by Egyptian graffiti artist Nofal O.

Nofal O – real name Ahmed Nofal (b. 1996) – has created many vivid street murals in Cairo influenced by Egypt's ancient art. In this powerful display, his graffiti, inspired by Tutankhamun and his treasures, was been painted directly onto the walls of the gallery, and stood in dialogue with a statue of the young pharaoh from about 1330 BC.

Tutankhamun's unexpected death, ending a short reign of around nine years (about 1336–1327 BC), limited his impact on ancient Egyptian history. However, the discovery of his almost-intact tomb in 1922 transformed him into the most famous pharaoh of them all. The unprecedented find marked a turning point in our understanding of ancient Egypt and the previously obscure king became a household name. Objects found his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, including his world-famous blue and gold funerary mask, are part of the fabric of Egyptian identity, appearing on everything from bank notes to sweet tins. 

Discover more about Tutankhamun's reign and legacy through seven stops across the Museum in the Tutankhamun: life and legacy trail, starting in Room 3.

Twenty twenty-two also marked the bicentenary of the decipherment of hieroglyphs – told in our highly acclaimed exhibition, Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt.

Exhibition supporter

Supported by

The Asahi Shimbum logo

These displays were made possible by the support of The Asahi Shimbun Company, longstanding corporate sponsors of the British Museum. The Asahi Shimbun is a Japanese leading newspaper and the company also provides a substantial information service via the internet. The company has a century-long tradition of philanthropic support, notably staging key exhibitions in Japan on art, culture and history from around the world. In addition to the Asahi Shimbun Displays, The Asahi Shimbun Company is a committed supporter of the British Museum touring exhibition programme in Japan, and funder of The Asahi Shimbun Gallery of Amaravati sculpture in Room 33a.

The Asahi Shimbun Displays