Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Howard Carter

This is a picture of Howard Carter. Howard was the man who discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun. This is the very same King Tutankhamun that is NOT at the Dallas Museum of Art exhibit entitled "King Tut". OK, I know I already went through the whole story yesterday, but I am really miffed about this. Someone in the comments yesterday said that the museum WEB site clearly stated that King Tut, and his gold burial masks were not in the exhibit. My friend, this is known as Fine Print. On the place you order the tickets, and in the 4 story banner hanging from the side of the museum, the Golden Burial mask is pictured. In fact in all of the publicity material, I was unable to find a single example of the Golden Burial mask NOT being shown. In fact, it is usually the ONLY picture shown. So, with a four story banner with the words "King Tut" beside an enormous picture of the golden burial mask, one would think that you were buying a ticket to see King Tut and the golden burial mask.

Clearly everyone in the exhibit was expecting to see King Tut. I could hear people saying as they were getting routed into the gift shop, "But where is King Tut?", so I know it was not just me.

To be honest, I have not felt this ripped off since I was 8 years old and paid 50 cents to see a carnival side show advertising a two headed man. When I went in, there was no two headed man. Same scam, just on a larger scale. You expect this type of thing from Carnival Side Shows, but not the Dallas Museum of Art. Shame on you Dallas Museum of art, for the sake of $$ you deceived and disappointed countless thousands of people. Shame, shame, shame.


  1. I can feel your pain, I honestly can. But I ordered my tickets through TicketMaster, and understood the rule about the timed exhibits. When I saw the ads for the exhibit, I was very hyped thinking I would see the death mask. But when I did the research on the website to get more info, it wasn't in the fine print. It was clearly stated that the mummy and the mask weren't there. Cairo feels that they are too fragile to move. Fair enough. NatGeo used the picture of the death mask in the ads, because that is what people think of when you say King Tut. If they had used anything else, the exhibit wouldn't have been as popular (sold out) and wouldn't have generated as much buzz. I am so sorry you felt ripped off--I read up on Egypt and the pharoahs and Tut before we left for Dallas, and I had a wonderful time. My only gripe was the traffic--oh my goodness! Does anyone in Dallas know what a blinker is?

    But that aside, I do enjoy your blog, and I LOVE the pictures you post, along with your commentary. Kudos to you on a great job!

  2. Kent Says,

    PJM, You actually made me feel a whole lot better. I was worried whether I would miss the death mask again because I cannot afford to go. Getting the real story was important, not that it helps at all with what you and others went through.

  3. You should have had SmartGirl with you...the more I learn about her the more I admire her! I'm sure they would have given her the money back, plus gifts, and they would have been happy to do it! Isn't that right SmartGirl? :-D

  4. PJM - I agree with you, that was a rip-off, and deceptive (or at least) vague advertising.

    How disappointing that you drove all that way and paid so much money for those tickets. I hope you did something else fun in Dallas while you were there.

    You impress me as a very intelligent individual, and not one to fall for obvious scams. What a shame.

    Not only is it "shame on the Dallas Museum," but shame on National Geographic, too. I'm surprised at them - send them a letter and the museum too, and get your money back.

    Hope you had a good rest of your vacation.

  5. Aside from a Web presence that apparently makes it clear about what is absent in the exhibition rooms, the 4-story banner should have as well.

    And that is the real issue, IMO.

    America still expects truth in advertising. We should never get conditioned to expect way less than what is hyped in ads.

    With all due respect to Nancy O., I doubt that the majority of people rushed to check out its Web site after seeing the Dallas Museum of Art's banner.

  6. Nancy O,
    That is sort of the point . . . people DO associate the golden burial mask with King T.

    Consider this . . . What if the Tarrant County Convention Center put up a four story banner with a picture of Mick Jagger, and had the label "Rolling Stones". You go up and buy a ticket, and go in, and find that they have Mick Jagger's old college room mate dancing around and singing old rolling stones favorites. You would feel ripped off, even if the fine print on the WEB site said that Mick Jagger was not actuallygoing to be at the show. When you see rolling stones advertised, you expect to see MIck. Same with King T. I would expect to see him, and his golden burial mask.

    To say that this was not premeditated to increase visitors for a marginal show is naive.

  7. But... that's NOT the photo of the death mask. The death mask does not have the crook and flail, just the banded collar. The viscera coffins do have the crook and flail, which are symbols of kingship. I spotted that immediately when I first saw the ads in 2006, but then again I am an Egyptology nut of long standing.

    Sorry you feel ripped off. I've seen this exhibit tour twice, and feel lucky to have seen what they did send over. This stuff is incredibly fragile. I remember reading that they opened up a tomb of a princess around the turn of the last century and saw a beautiful wooden statue inside. As the photographer was making a time lapse photo from the outside of the tomb, the stirring of the air caused the statue to crumble into dust. So we are very lucky to see what we are seeing on this tour.

    One reason I value your pictures it that it brings the past alive. If you want a real treat, go to the Oriental Institute on the campus of the University of Chicago. The OI is the only school of Egyptology in the US. There is, in one of the glass cases, a wooden mallet that had been used to slowly chisel out the huge limestone blocks for the pyramids. Look at the handle. It is worn smooth by the hand or hands that used it 4 or 5000 years ago. I remember the first time I saw it, it was like a lightening bolt to me. That unknown person leaped forward in time to me.

  8. Marie,
    During the Mystery Person contest you warned me that there was no one named Marie at the exhibit . . . maybe you should have warned me there was no one named "Tut" either :-).

    Just kidding, appreciate your comments.


    Thanks for the compliment!!

    I definitely would have gotten my money back, but I wouldn't have been too nice about it. You guys would have run for cover once I opened my mouth. I'm not profane or loud, just determined.

    I'm famous in my family for taking on challenges and fighting with everyone when someone's been wronged.

    Last year I got reimbursed from a the owner of a local car wash that damaged my daughter's new car and then refused to give me the name of his insurance company or pay for the damage.

    He tried to blow the whole thing off, and I guess he figured that I wouldn't bother to hire a lawyer, because the damage was less than $500.

    Well . . . my cousin is an attorney, so I had him send the guy a letter. When he STILL didn't want to pay, I told my cousin to tell the car wash guy that if he didn't pay: (a) I was going to take him to court no matter what the amount was; and (b) that I "fell" while walking around the car on the wet pavement while looking at the damage and now I have a "back injury."

    He paid for the damage.

    Then I checked with the DBR, and I found out that this guy had a ton of similar complaints against him, all unresolved.

    So then . . . even though I got my money back, I gave his name to ICE tip line and reported him for using illegal immigrant labor at his place of business.

  10. Didn't Howard Carter and several others in his expedition die from a mysterious disease after opening King Tut's tomb and removing the contents?

    At first people thought it was a curse, but wasn't it really some sort of fungus or organism that was trapped in the stagnant air?

  11. SmartGirl,
    I heard that too
    that everyone that went in the tomb died shortly after except an
    Egyptian boy that only went in to carry supplies
    and the boy was the the only one not to touch anything and was the only nonfirst born Egyptian or something like that

  12. Gotta pay attention to detail... make sure you're getting a Boy King, and not a Boinking. ;o

  13. The lesson I learned today is Don't Mess With SmartGirl ! She reminds me of one of my sisters who will stare down a rattle snake. We all need to be ready to defend ourselves from the human snakes of the world. I would rather apologize to someone for being wrong than be pushed around by them. Now that I am older, my patience or "tipping point" is higher but the old fight is still there.

    PJM, I suggest you write the museum with a copy to the Dallas Times so others will not be short changed.

  14. I am so glad we chose Guadalupe Peak over Dallas now. I was still really torn. But my family got to see and hike the Peak, Carlsbad Caverns, Salt flats and the White Sands for probably a lot less money than a nights stay in Dallas. I would be really upset if I didn't get to see Tut.

    Speaking of those audio handhelds. Carlsbad Caverns now have those. There is no guided tour. When did this happen? I grew up in Southern Indiana. Between there and Kentucky were a lot of caves to go and see. The biggest ripoff was the gift shop at the end but at least someone walked and talked with the group. I knew enough about the formations to talk to my kids but that is only because of my childhood. I just think it's really sad.

  15. BTW, my youngest daughter really enjoyed the Tut exhibit both times we saw it. What she liked the most was the gold covered throne with the picture of Tut and his wife, sun shining overhead with a little hand on the end of each ray of sunshine, like little handpats from God.

  16. I know how you feel. Some guy sold me a "No Child Left Behind" law and I thought that meant that no child would be left behind!

  17. Brother Dave,
    I agree with your position. But I find is mildly funny (ok, hilarious) that people don't look into things that they want to buy or want to do or want to whatever. They just leap in "blind", making conclusions that may or may not be true. Then they get upset when their conclusions were false. I read the website so that I would know EXACTLY what I was seeing before I drove 6 hours through both Austin and Dallas traffic. I wanted to know what I was getting myself into before I laid out the cash and the time. My mother came with me and she also wanted to know all about the items before we went. That's why I read books, surfed the internet, read the websites, etc. We didn't take the audio tour, because we could read the placards and we had already absorbed enough knowledge to know what was what. I'm just saying. If more people looked before they leaped, there'd be a whole less "fleecing" of America going on--you wouldn't buy a car without a test drive--simply relying only on what a salesperson said, would you?

  18. I guess I had just not anticipated that the Dallas Museum of art would perpetrate such a fraud.

  19. Wow, your blog's a HOTBED today! :)

    All else has been said, so I'll just say I'd be mad too.

  20. ENOUGH!! Please get back to the photograph.

  21. Nancy O. — You do not fit the "human nature" mold on this issue.

    It is interesting that those mentioning their disappointment have noted many others in the crowd expressed similar dismay.

    I believe it comes down to "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

  22. So good to know the burial mask is not there! My son has been begging to go, but we're currently in Harlingen visiting family. Had planned to maybe take him after Spring Break.


  23. SmartGirl - There is no "King Tut's Curse" - it was mainly sensationalist Newspaper stories made up in the 20s to *gasp* sell newspapers.

    An article here - discusses the curse and National Geographic at says about "tomb toxins" -- "We don't know of even a single case of either an archaeologist or a tourist experiencing any negative consequences [from tomb molds or bacteria]," Miller said. The University of Pennsylvania's Wegner hasn't noticed much concern among her colleagues at tomb sites.

    "On the archaeological projects that I've been involved with, we generally don't wear masks or [other protection against hazardous materials] in a tomb," she explained. "If we do, it's because of worry about breathing in dust rather than molds or fungus.

    "If someone has a compromised immune system, they might be more [likely] to pick up something in a tomb, but that's also the case in a restaurant or anywhere else they might be."


  24. Hmmm. .. A similar show, (if not the same) was here in Detroit last month. The newspaper ads ran that same King Tut burial mask picture, but I also recall the fine print as stating the pieces were replicas. .. Their in the same league with the Hollywood Wax Museum, except this is a traveling show. What a rip-off!!!

  25. Hi, Al:

    I just got back from New York and saw your comment, haha!

    I never back down from a fight - but here are my rules:

    (1) Choose your battles carefully, make sure it's worthwhile; (2) Make sure you've really been wronged, not that your feelings are hurt or you don't like someone; (3) Only ask for what you deserve; and (4) Stick to the Facts and don't whine

    Denis - I knew there was no curse, but at first people didn't know what made everyone sick, and that's what they said. but they eventually figured out that it was a fungus or mold.


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