Christina Riggs

Christina Riggs is professor of the history of visual culture at Durham University.

We know it intimately: Rummaging for Mummies

Christina Riggs, 22 October 2020

‘To the Past we must go as a relief from To-day’s harshness,’ the Egyptologist Arthur Weigall wrote in 1923, as illustrated newspapers were bringing Tutankhamun back to life. The First World War was over, but its aftershocks rippled on. Golden treasure, a boy pharaoh and lost tombs in the Valley of the Kings offered readers an escape. The inscrutable Orient and its discovery...

Calouste Gulbenkian​ didn’t acquire his astonishing fortune by wasting time. The day after the fifth Earl of Carnarvon died in a Cairo hotel room in April 1923, struck down either by sepsis or the curse of the pharaohs, Gulbenkian was on the phone to the Paris branch of Duveen Brothers, dealers in art and antiquities. He wanted to know what was going to happen to Carnarvon’s...

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