The Egyptian Museum in Florence, Its History and What to See

A complete guide of what you can expect during your visit to the Egyptian Museum in Florence

Second only to the one in Turin, the Egyptian Museum in Florence has the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in Italy. The historical artefacts are the products of centuries of exploration and partnerships among rulers, scholars, and scholarly institutions. It is part of the Archaeological Museum in Florence, which is also home to Etruscan, Roman, and Greek collections.

 

A True Labour of Love – the Establishment and History of the Museum

The museum was unveiled in 1855, but its history dates back to the early part of the 17th century. For example, in 1828 the Grand Duke of Tuscany financed an expedition which led to the acquisition of a large haul of Egyptian artefacts. The scholarly campaign was led by Jean-Francois Champollion, who decoded the ancient scripts, and his apprentice, Ippolito Rosellini. It was through Rosellini’s efforts that Egyptology began to be viewed as a scholarly subject in Italy.

 

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Before 1980, the collection was displayed among other artefacts in the Archaeological Museum, before it was moved into a separate room by Ernesto Schiaparelli. An ardent Egyptologist, Schiaparelli is credited with organising and enlarging the collection into pretty much of what is found there today. There have been several additions courtesy of donations by private collectors and scholarly organisations. The most notable ones are the lot of Coptic fabrics that were discovered in the early 20th century.

 

 

 

Exhibits – What You Can Expect to See at the Museum

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The collection outgrew the order created by Schiaparelli, and currently, the more than 14,000 artefacts are exhibited in nine rooms and two magazines. The items are now organised chronologically. The collection includes vessels, statues and figurines, amulets, and ornaments from various periods.

 

Some notable pieces within the collection include a pillar that was excavated from the tomb of Seti and several statues from the reign of Amenhotep III. Seti was the ruler of Egypt between 1290 to 1279 BCE and is credited with establishing the kingdom’s greatness. During the reign by Amenhotep III, Egypt experienced a peaceful period, which led to a lot of artistic growth. Other equally interesting items include the Coptic textiles, nursing equipment from the tomb of Pharaoh Taharqa’s daughter, and an unidentified woman’s portrait from Faiyum.

 

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Best Times to Visit

The doors open at 2:00 p.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. on Mondays. You will get another chance to view the exhibits from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8:30 to 2:00 p.m. for the rest of the week. The museum is accessible using the same ticket as the one for the Archaeological Museum. You can find accommodation at the FIBNB apartments, which are close to the historic centre.

 

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The history of Harrods, London.

Founded in the 19th century as a family tea and grocery shop, the Harrods department store has grown into a globally recognized brand. By selling celebrity products, food, and every household good you may think, Harrods has become one of the largest department stores, maintaining its signature green bag. However the journey was not smooth sailing in Knightsbridge when the store was being established, read on to find out how.

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Founding of the Store

 

The store was founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1849 in Knightsbridge. It began as a single room with one messenger and two assistants. The store thrived steadily expanding to small departments that sold medicines, clothing, and perfume. However, in 1883, the expansion came to a cold halt after a fire blazed down the store leading to relocation to the opposite hall. Architect Charles William helped expedite the rebuilding process to what the store looks like today. The new store featured palatial style with baroque dome, Art Noveau windows, and terracotta tiles with cherubs.

 

Becoming a Public Company- Achieving Success!

 

In 1889, Harrods became a public company offering new products. It established a bank and estate agency as one of its expansion milestones. In 1890, a new department selling exotic pets was introduced. However, the department was closed in 1970 due to legal issues concerning sale of pets. It introduced one of the first world escalators in 1898. The company sold parachutes, uniforms, and some of Lancaster bombers during the World War II. The Harrods was sold to the House of Fraser, a High Street department store, in 1959.

 

Bitter Feud- Ultimate Battle of Ownership

 

An Egyptian businessman, Mr Al Fayed, merged efforts with his brother and bought the House of Fraser for £615m in 1985. A mining company, Lonrho, was not happy as a close contender and took matters to the Department of Trade to bar Al Fayed from owning the store. Al Fayed was accused Al Fayed of lying about his wealth status and source of money. The battle went on for years and reconciliation was reached in 1993 recognizing Al Fayed as the legal owner.

 

Bomb Attacks- Introduction of New Dress Code

 

In 1983 and 1993, two bombs attacks were successfully launched by the IRA leading to the death of six people and 79 casualties in total. Consequently, Al Fayed banned people from wearing beach shorts, swimwear, cycling shorts, and thong sandals in the store. In 1994, the House of Fraser was liquidated keeping only the Harrods stores. The Harrods had strongly expanded by 2000 and acquired outlets on the QE2 cruise ships and at the airports.

 

The Modern Harrods Design- Al Fayed Final Touches

 

Al Fayed added personal touches to the interior design of the store in Knightsbridge to give it the modern stylish decor. Following the death of his son Dodi and Diana, the Princess of Wales, Al Fayed built an Egyptian memorial room in the store. Al Fayed withdrew his royal warrants of the queen’s family claiming that neither Prince Charles nor Queen Elizabeth had shopped in Harrods for many years. Currently, the store has over 4,000 employees and Air Harrods aircraft charter services.

The Harrods store is one and half miles from the newly refurbished Royal Lancaster London Hotel at Lancaster Gate. Hotel guests can stroll across the fabulous Hyde Park in just under half an hour.