Programme of Events to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Förderverein des Ägyptischen Museums Berlin e. V.

Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung

At a ceremony on 23 May 2023 at the Neues Museum with the Egyptian ambassador S.E. Khaled Galal Abdelhamid in attendance, the festivities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Förderverein des Ägyptischen Museums Berlin e. V. officially got underway. The anniversary will be celebrated this year with a summer party, a special presentation within the permanent exhibition, and a diverse programme of events.

This summer, the courtyard next to the workshops and storage facilities of the Archäologisches Zentrum will host a celebration with a whole host of surprises, and on 11 November 2023, a concert and reading of ancient Egyptian texts will take place at the Neues Museum. To celebrate this special anniversary, all the objects that the Förderverein has acquired will be showcased within the permanent exhibition of the Ägyptisches Museum. They will be identified by colourful object descriptions bearing a symbol of five arches (the Egyptian symbol for 50) and by original scarabs, which are positioned in the vitrines next to the featured exhibits. All visitors to the museum are invited to embark on a journey of discovery and – in keeping with the motto of this anniversary year – to experience “Egypt up close”. Particularly attentive visitors will be rewarded: whoever can name the exact number of scarabs in the exhibition will receive a small prize.

Special Game for Children and Grown-Ups from 13 July 2023

From the beginning of the summer holidays, a special game will allow children and adults of all ages to test their knowledge, learn new facts, and explore the exhibition – and win some prizes along the way, of course. This activity will be overseen by members of the association and offered every Sunday through to the end of Berlin’s autumn holidays on 5 November 2023.

The History of the Förderverein des Ägyptischen Museums Berlin e. V.

On 23 May 1973, the “Verein zur Förderung des Ägyptischen Museums in Berlin-Charlottenburg e. V.” was officially founded. Seven founding members quickly grew to more than 200, and through their active engagement in events and special exhibitions, the members developed a truly special relationship to “their” museum. The appeal for support from the directors of the museum at the Tutankhamun exhibition in 1980 – which broke all existing attendance records and where the burial treasures of the boy king were shown outside of Egypt for the first time – led to another rise in members, which reached a highpoint of 1,073 people in 1984.

The reunification of Germany not only brought the divided collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin back together, it also allowed the association – which until then had only been active in West Berlin – to actively support the larger East Berlin section of the collection, and to promote the wonders of ancient Egypt beyond the confines of Charlottenburg. This expansion was also reflected in a change to the name, which from then on was known as the “Verein zur Förderung des Ägyptischen Museums in Berlin e. V.”

This year, the association celebrates 50 years of existence, and its members number around 450. Interest in the culture of ancient Egypt remains unbroken. Of particular importance for the members of the association is the opportunity to have a direct encounter with the objects at talks and guided tours, as well as engaging in dialogue with the curators, which, after the restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, are thankfully once again a possibility.