Mummies of the World descend on Salt Lake City

Posted at 10:31 PM, Feb 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-10 00:31:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Mummies from around the world have arrived in Salt Lake City ahead of the “Mummies of the World” exhibit set to take place at The Leonardo.

This is the largest exhibition of real mummies to ever visit The Leonardo, and Salt Lake City is one of only seven stops the tour will make in the U.S.

Dr. Heather Gill-Frerking is the director of science and education for Mummies of the World, and she said the exhibition offers a unique opportunity.

“It’s a really unusual thing,” she said. “These mummies come from 20 different museums, and so it’s almost impossible to pull together a collection like this. You will never again have the chance to see such a wide range of mummies and processes of mummification in one place. It’s just a really exceptional exhibition.”

The exhibit boasts more than 40 mummies, including those of animals, that have come from South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Ancient Egypt. Gill-Frerking said the exhibit has a lot of variety that will appeal to children, and most children aren’t frightened by the mummies.

“It really is a great exhibition for families,” she said. “Kids see the coolest details. You know your kid best, if you think they’ll be freaked out…, but for the most part kids love this. They see the little teeth on the crocodile and the little toes on the babies, so watch your kids, they see the coolest stuff.”

Bryton Sampson works at The Leonardo, and he said the exhibit is a wonderful learning opportunity.

"Some of these mummies are over 6,000 years old, and just to kind of be in that presence is really, really remarkable,” he said. “And we're just going to learn so much from them, not just from the mummies themselves, but the technology these days allows those mummies to teach us about the times they lived in."

The Mummies of the World exhibit opens on Saturday February 16 and runs until May 26. Adult tickets start at $22.50, with discounts for students, members of the military, children and others.