On 14 September, an exhibition titled ‘Antiquities Inspection Tours to Upper Egypt and the Archive of Eduardo Toda’ will open its doors to the public.
The exhibition is co-organised by the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) in Cairo and the Embassy of Spain in Cairo and curated by Miguel Ángel Molinero Polo and Andrea Rodríguez Valls.
For the first time in Egypt, the exhibition presents some photographs from the collection of Eduard Toda I Güell (1852 -1941) that are currently at the Library of the Museum Victor Balaguer in Vilanova i la Geltrú. This collection helps to understand the work of the Egyptian Antiquities Service during the 19th century.
Eduard Toda was posted as Spanish vice-consul in Cairo between 1884 and 1886. During his stay in Egypt, he established friendships with the Egyptologists of the Ministry of Public Works — which the Antiquities Service was affiliated with at the time — and accompanied them on their tours, the most notable of which was one that took place in Upper Egypt in 1886. He recorded his knowledge of the ancient Egyptian civilisation in various books and newspaper articles that he wrote.
Moreover, he was able to gather an interesting collection of artefacts, calques, and photographs. His texts and collections of objects from that trip provide a better understanding of the documentation methods used by Egyptologists in the 19th century — methods that show the transition between freehand drawing, tracing, and photography.
The NMEC has an extraordinary collection of artefacts that goes back to Ancient Egypt. Among them, those that were found in February 1886 in one of the most emblematic tombs of ancient Thebes (modern day Luxor) — the intact tomb of Sennedjem — which the young Spanish diplomat aided in its discovery.
Miguel Ángel Molinero is a Professor of Ancient History and Egyptology at the Spanish University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands.
He is currently the director of the 209 Project (archaeological mission at TT 209 in Luxor) and Co-Director of the Pabasa Tomb project (Egyptian-Italian-Spanish epigraphic mission at the Tomb of Pabasa, TT 279, also in Luxor).
Meanwhile, Andrea Rodríguez Valls — also from the University of La Laguna — has focused her research on the field of Egyptology, specifically palaeography issues and the bat as a religious icon. She has also worked in the organisation of outstanding temporary exhibitions in Madrid and is currently a member of the Pabasa Tomb Project.
The exhibition will be available to the public until 30 September at the premises of the NMEC, and in the near future, it will be a touring exhibition, as it shall be exhibited in other Egyptian and Spanish cities.