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Gawk Like an Egyptian: "Cleopatra: The Exhibit"

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By Lenika Cruz

When we hear of Cleopatra, we often think of her beauty, her sexual-political liaisons with powerful men and her glamorized suicide-by-asp (and maybe Elizabeth Taylor or trampy Halloween get-ups). Still, myth and mystery have largely shrouded our understanding of the famous last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

Since May 23, the California Science Center has been hosting the only West Coast appearance of the mammoth “Cleopatra: The Exhibition,” which features more than 150 Egyptian artifacts from Cleopatra’s time: the largest collection of Cleopatra-era relics gathered in the United States. Due to popular demand, the center has announced extended weekend viewing hours through July.

The 13,000-square-foot exhibition houses these stunning (and priceless) artifacts, many of which had been lost to a series of earthquakes and floods almost 2,000 years ago. From the center’s website:

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“Unearthed by two of the world’s leading archaeologists Franck Goddio and Zahi Hawass, the exhibition features colossal statues, jewelry, and coins from Cleopatra’s lost palace in Alexandria, and reveals the excavation process involved in recovering these hidden treasures. “

The museum also offers complimentary audio tours of the traveling exhibition “told in [Cleopatra’s] voice,” (whatever that means) according to the exhibition website.

Those interested can buy their tickets online, but should keep in mind that the tickets are timed, meaning they’re only valid for a certain date and time frame. Suggested viewing time for the exhibit is 60 minutes.