Egyptian textile art from the time of the pharaohs to the Copts

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The headquarters of the international logistic services company Katoen Natie in Antwerp is to showcase the  antiquities collection that covers 3,500 years of textile art owned by CEO Fernand Huts and his wife Karine. The exhibition, displayed in a highly evocative way at the company museum HeadquARTers, designed by the Ghent-based architectural firm Robbrecht & Daem, opens today. Spread throughout five exhibition visitors can admire textiles from the period 2,000 BC to 1,500 AD, which Huts and his wife have been collecting for the past twenty years. According to Huts, no other museum in the world boasts the same number of tunics from antiquitity. Each of the five halls has its own touch screen that contains all the relevant data on the items on displays. The collection was assembled by the Ghent veterinary science professor Antoine De Moor, who has been lecturing on textile art for many years. It chronicles the history of Egypt from 2,000 BC to 1,500 AD with the use of textiles and various other objects, including statues, utility objects and documents. Thanks to the dry climate many textiles found in graves have managed to remain relatively well preserved, which makes Egypt a perfect place for textile art. The first hall is dedicated to mummification that made use of a considerable amount of linen. Here one can marvel at the books of the dead, which are partially written on linen. When the Romans conquered Egypt, the Egyptians assimilated the Roman tunic, and many examples of this finery can be seen here in the tunic hall. Finally there is also a fair amount of textiles to be seen from the Copts, Egypt’s Christians. The textiles date back from the 4th century to about the 15th century AD. Many of the items on display were discovered in the 19th century, when Napolean invaded Egypt.

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