"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as as a "once in generation" show -- will open in London in November. — AFP Photo
EGYPT — A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record on Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see Tutankhamun and His Times at the Petit Palais.
Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh -- which has been described as a once in a generation show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.
More than 150 treasures from the monarch's tomb -- including 60 which have never left Egypt before -- have been assembled for the show.
The Egyptian Ministry for Antiquities said this was the largest number of Tutankhamun artefacts ever to have left Cairo.
Almost all of the 3,400 exhibits come from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and are never likely to leave the country again.
Its unparalleled collection is being transferred to the enormous new Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids at Giza, which is due to open next year.
Mostafa Waziry, the Egyptian ministry's secretary general, said the show -- which also visits Sydney next year -- will help pay for the new Giza museum.
The country's Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Enany, said he was "sure that the immense interest in the exhibition will encourage millions of visitors... to visit Egypt's museums and remarkable sites."
And the Louvre, which loaned the greatest piece in its Egyptian collection, the statue of Amon -- the king of the gods -- protecting Tutankhamun, also hailed the show's runaway success.
"It confirms, if confirmation were needed, how passionate the French people are about Egyptian antiquity," it said.
Some 50,000 children visited the show on school trips alone, the organisers said.
The show will visit other as yet undisclosed cities before the artefacts are returned to Egypt in 2024. — AFP