Cleopatra brings ancient Egypt to the Queen City

Cleopatra’s body was never found, but all of her stuff is currently in residence at 1301 Western Avenue, right here in Cincinnati. Cleopatra VII, the infamously beautiful political leader who seduced two of the world’s most powerful men, can be seen in all her past, present and future glory at “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” at Cincinnati Museum Center.

The exhibition boasts nearly 150 artifacts that range from coins with her portrait to towering statues. The  pieces were uncovered during the modern-day expeditions led by Egyptian archeologist and Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, Dr. Zahi Hawass, and French underwater archeologist and Director of IEASM (Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine), Franck Goddio. Since they began uncovering the elusive queen’s world by land and sea, the two men have done as much for Cleopatra’s legacy as Julius Caesar and Marc Antony.

Destroyed by an earthquake, subsequent tsunami, and a classic case of the Roman Empire determined to erase it from history, Cleopatra’s life and world have been hidden for nearly 2,000 years. Franck Goddio began his ambitious dive to the ocean floor in 1992 and has since uncovered Cleopatra’s royal palace and two ancient cities lost to the natural disasters, Canopus and Heracleion. On land, Dr. Hawass and his team are on the hunt for the tomb of Cleopatra and Marc Antony, but in the interim have uncovered artifacts (coins, statues, shafts) from the temple of Taposiris Magna.

Patrons are taken through Cleopatra’s lost world in a gorgeous underwater setting with the exhibits narrated by the queen herself.  Divided into eight separate, chronological galleries, the Cincinnati Museum Center provides a comprehensive display of the world as it was and gives viewers a new prospective on the politically ambitious pharaoh. As one walks through the maze of never-before-seen artifacts, she explains her family, husbands, decisions, and love for Egypt and its people.

“I am so proud that Cincinnati Museum Center is able to provide our community with this tremendous window on the world and Cleopatra’s remarkable story,” said Douglas W, McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “This is a must-see experience of Cleopatra’s power, mystery, ambition strategy, romance, glamour and economic success. It helps us recognize the unique culture and priceless antiques Egypt offers the world looking back on humanity over thousands of years.”

“Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” is currently at Cincinnati Museum Center. The queen will be in the Queen City until September 5, 2011 and admission price ranges from$14 to $23. Tickets are timed and dated and admission is 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays (last entry at 5 p.m.), 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (last entry 8 p.m.), 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays (last entry 6 p.m.). Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. For more information on the exhibit visit their website or call 513-287-7001.