Lonely Planet Writer

Queens of the Nile exhibition featuring 350 unique Egyptian pieces goes on display in The Netherlands

A new exhibition has been unveiled at Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden that features the largest collection of pieces dedicated to the queens of Egypt to ever go on display in The Netherlands.

queens of the nile
A detailed view of some of the art on display at the Queens of the Nile exhibition held at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. Image by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Queens of the Nile Exhibition features 350 prized Egyptian pieces, including royal portraits, statues of deities, sophisticated jewellery, amulets and utensils, as well as the sarcophagus and grave goods of Queen Nefertari on loan from the Museo Egizio in Turin. The exhibition tells the story of the ancient Egyptians Pharaohs’ wives during the New Kingdom period of 1500 to 1000 BC, where royalty and masters of the realm were worshipped as gods. Other characters whose lives are featured in more detail in the exhibition include Hatshepsut, Tiye and Nefertiti.

queens of the nile
The exhibition features 350 rare pieces from ancient Egypt. Image by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Queens of the Nile
The Queens of the Nile exhibit includes royal portraits, statues of deities, jewellery, amulets and utensils. Image by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The exhibition was organised by Leiden University in collaboration with Museo Egizio and is sponsored by the Egypt Tourist Office in Brussels. Some of the most impressive pieces in the collection come from Queen Nefertari’s tomb, which was first discovered in 1904 in the Valley of the Queens near Luxor. Visitors will be able to view a reconstruction of one of the tomb chambers and view a portion of the gifts that were buried with the Queen.

The exhibition is the biggest collection dedicated to the Queens of Egypt to ever visit The Netherlands.
The exhibition is the biggest collection dedicated to the Queens of Egypt to ever visit The Netherlands. Image by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

While pharaohs at the time could marry many wives, only one could hold the title of, “Great Queen”, where they would be responsible for the running of the court harem. Queens of the Nile is due to run until 17 April. More information on visiting the exhibition is available at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden website.