Kansas City’s Union Station Friday morning unwrapped the stars of its new show, Mummies of the World: The Exhibition. It is the largest collection of authentic mummies and artifacts to make its way through North America.
After traveling 750 miles from Houston, the 35 real mummies and 150 related artifacts arrived in a motorcade with heavy security for their regional debut. The nationwide exhibit has been visited by 1.6 million people already and is being featured for the first time in the Midwest.
“This exhibition is just one more step in bringing international quality artifacts to Kansas City,” said George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station. “It’s real mummies, real science, but it’s also real people. You learn about the stories behind the individuals. You learn about who they were, how they lived and how they perished.”
The exhibition is set to open next Saturday, just in time for Father’s Day. It is composed of mummies from Europe, South America and Ancient Egypt, with some dating back more than 4,500 years.
Through state-of-the-art multimedia, hands-on interactive stations and 3D animation, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through mummification and the individual stories behind the mummies.
“This is an exhibit that I think a lot of folks are going to want to come and see,” said Rusty Macy, general manager of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.
“Kansas City continues to be innovative and continues to try to bring subject matter that other cities aren’t even thinking about,” said Macy, who attended Friday’s delivery of the mummies.
“I think that’s what’s part of the ‘mojo’ that Kansas City has,” he said. “We continue to be on the forefront of providing new experiences to not just folks of Kansas City, but for the surrounding areas as well.”
Mummy Bundles are burials with woven grass cords around the bodies in the fetal position. They were some of the earliest objects accepted into the museum’s collections and feature Inca mummies.
“The Mummy Bundles have a purpose because they’re a good educational example and one that this exhibit did not have,” said Denise Morrison, director of collections and curatorial services for the Kansas City Museum.
“These South American tribes, going back to the Incas and even earlier, were doing mummification and these kinds of bundles before the Egyptians,” she said.
“You know, we always think it was the Egyptians first, but they weren’t the only culture doing that. So, these really have a strong educational reason to be there, instead of just to be shocking, and we just thought, ‘How could we not add them?’”