Thank God it’s Friday

Posted on April 24, 2015

The Hat

This hat helped building a museum – and now Dr. Zahi and I have nothing to wear at the ASPAC President’s Welcome Dinner in Manila

Dr. Zahi HawassDr. Zahi Hawass

Now and again we invite journalists to Egypt to show them the home country and origins of our replica exhibitions about Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Interviews with my friend, the renowned archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, are always a pleasurable part of our visits. The former head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Minister is a great storyteller, and journalists always have a good time when speaking to him in his Cairo office. Journalist Mads Staghøj from Copenhagen accompanied me on a trip a little while ago, and portrayed his office as follows, in his piece for Danish newspaper Weekendavisen: “This [office] is also where the original edition of his trademark is lying: an Indiana Jones-style hat, of which, as he tells me, ‘thousands of copies are being made in China.’ He wears it when he appears on his TV shows, which have been seen on the History Channel, National Geographic and Discovery, in which he presents his subject with rare enthusiasm to millions of viewers around the world.”

Wait a minute! Replicas of Dr. Zahi’s signature explorer hat? Indeed. In past years we have sold around 2,000 copies. And John Norman, a managing director at Premier Exhibitions and our partner for the US tour of our replica exhibit, sold many, many more during the run of his international exhibition tour with the original artefacts from King Tut’s tomb.

The sales of copies of Dr. Zahi Hawass’s famous explorer hat have contributed a remarkable sum to the $17m fundraising pot for the Children’s Museum in Cairo, Egypt, which is a great museum for the education and the entertainment of children. The museum has been open to the public for about two years, and has been completely built with fundraising, and without any financial support from the government.

What elements were used in order to achieve this? Dr. Hawass is going to share his fundraising experiences at the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres. His talk will take place on April 27 as the opener of the Marketing and Fundraising Inspiration session. On April 28 Zahi Hawass will sign his latest book “Discovering Tutankhamun – From Howard Carter to DNA”. This book, published by us, is a free give away for all delegates (while stocks last).

I am looking forward to meeting all fellow colleagues of TREX, ASPAC’s Touring Exhibitions Network, on April 28 at the SC Exhibitions-sponsored afternoon coffee break, in the special exhibition hall.

There’s just one problem: ASPAC’s President Alan Brien* has invited us to his Welcome Dinner on Monday evening in Manila, and the dress code on the invitation card reads: “Any science-themed outfit or bring science paraphernalia to complement your outfit.” I had planned to take a replica hat with us. I phoned David, our shop manager, who informed me they’d sold out completely. I spoke with John in America: Are you kidding? Sold out, my friend!

The original hat? Well this one will not travel outside Egypt. It has cult status, like Tutankhamun’s famous golden mask.

I am very much looking forward to my first trip to the Philippines – even if we have nothing to wear for the President’s Welcome Dinner! Post dress recommendations for Dr. Zahi with hashtag #inspireASTC2015

PS: Read the interview with Alan Brien in our new edition of Touring Exhibitions News:

Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres (ASPAC) Annual Meeting. April 26 – 30 at The Mind Museum in Manila, The Philippines.
Further information on

The American museum community is gathering from April 25 – 29 in Atlanta at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting. If you’re around, say hello to my colleagues Oliver Rosenwald ( ) and Daniel Batyi ( ) The Traveling Exhibits Network at AAM has an early breakfast on Monday, April 27, and the legendary Traveling Exhibitions Forum is early on Tuesday, April 28.
Read more on…

SC Exhibitions is a proud member of ASPAC and AAM.


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