The exhibition Nefertari: Light of Egypt, organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Fondazione Memmo, continues to travel in Italy. During the spring of 1997 the exhibition was on view in the southern Italian city of Bari, where it was seen by more than 200,000 people.
Intended to raise public awareness of conservation, the exhibit uses a variety of media, integrating history and objects with a presentation of the conservation process. It commemorates the unearthing of the 3,200-year-old tomb of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens by Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1904, as well as the conservation of the tomb's wall paintings by the GCI and the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, conducted between 1986 and 1992.
Nefertari: Light of Egypt originally opened in the fall of 1994, at the Palazzo Ruspoli, in Rome. From there it moved to the Promotrice delle Belle Arti, in Turin. In all, approximately one million people have seen the exhibition, which includes a virtual-reality tour of Nefertari's tomb. Using a joystick, visitors can travel anywhere within the tomb (both as it is today and as it appeared at the time of its discovery), stopping to look at conservation problems and treatment methods or to listen to recitations of the hieroglyphic inscriptions that appear in the wall paintings.
In December 1996, the Nefertari virtual-reality tour was installed at Innoventions in Disneyworld's Epcot Center, in Florida. Since then, nearly 10 million visitors have taken the reality tour. Developed for the GCI by the Italian multimedia firm Infobyte, the virtual-reality tour can be visited at the Infobyte Web site (http://www.infobyte.it/pages/vr/nefertari.html [Note: this web address no longer valid - 01/2001]).