ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Nearly 100 years after the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt, his treasures are touring the globe, making a pit stop in Paris for an exhibit opening on Saturday (March 23) that will feature some artifacts that traveled out of Egypt for the first time.
One hundred fifty objects from Tutankhamun's tomb, the largest exhibit to date of such kind, are on display in Paris's Grande Halle de La Villette, illuminating the reign of the boy pharaoh who died at age 18.
To mark the centenary of British archaeologist Howard Carter's discovery of the ancient tomb, and in the run-up to the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo has made a rare loan of 150 artifacts for the world tour.
Normally, the Egyptian government only lends out 50 objects at one time.
A highlight of the exhibition is one of twin life-sized guardian statues found at the entrance of Tutankhamun's burial chamber.
It is one of the 60 pieces that have been brought out of Egypt for the first time.
Covered in resin and gold, the guardian's eyes "doesn't look at us…he's looking to eternity," exhibit curator Tarek El-Awady said.
It was not only the pharaoh's soul that was to make the journey to the afterlife, but also his earthly belongings that filled his tomb, including a chair, a bed, bowls and jewelry.
Another key piece is a statue of Tutankhamun on a black panther.
The belief was that the afterlife was so dark that the king had to put a spell on the panther, who was the only creature who could guide him.
Trimmings originally found by Carter on Tut's mummy contained hands made of solid gold, royal insignias and bands made of precious gems. Cairo hopes the Tutankhamun exhibition tour will bring back tourists to Egypt and send a message that the country is safe, despite militant attacks in recent years.
Perhaps with the added mystery of the so-called "Tutankhamun's curse," believed to have caused the death of people who worked on mummy excavation such as Carter himself and his financial backer Lord Carnarvon, the fascination with Egyptian myths and pharaohs seems eternal.
Tutankhamun, The Pharaoh's Treasure runs until September 2019.