"Cleopatra: The Exhibition" opens at the California Science Center on Wednesday, May 23. (Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation; photo: Jérôme)
The Wednesday before Memorial Day Weekend very often delivers us a high-budget action film depicting adventurers diving for ancient relics and making finds that are both beautiful and mysterious.
And the Wednesday before this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend is proving to be no different. Except on one account; all of those relics and treasures won't be up on the big screen. Rather, they'll be in cases and on display at the California Science Center as part of the West Coast premiere of "Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt." Opening date is May 23.
There are a number of bold headlines with this traveling exhibit, but this one particularly strikes our fancy: It's "the largest collection of Cleopatra-era artifacts from Egypt ever assembled in the U.S." Meaning? The California Science Center has squared away some 13,000 square feet in which to display a host of treasures. Among them: coins from Alexandra, jewelry, and other interesting baubles and effects.
How those artifacts were found is as interesting as what they are; divers went deep into the Bay of Aboukir and sifted through sand and time (many artifacts were found on land as well, we'll add). And not everything is a bauble or the size of a necklace or ring; two impressive -- read 16-foot -- granite statues are in the collection.
We should note that while the California Science Center charges no admission, this exhibition is ticketed. An adult admission is $19.75. All tickets are timed.