Mummies at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna​​​​​​​

The Vienna Art History Museum(KHM), opened in 1891, has one of the largest Egyptian collections in Europe. The objects were mainly acquired through purchases or donations. Many specimens come from the imperial collection or from Austrian travellers and merchants. In the 19th century, the Austrian Consul General in Alexandria, Anton Ritter von Laurin, made the most extensive donation to the imperial collection. At the end of the 19th century, the Miramar Collection of Archduke Ferdinand Max, later Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, was added. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were new acquisitions, especially through Austrian archaeological excavations in Egypt.
According to the director of the Egyptian Oriental Collection, Regina Hölzl, there are currently 24 adult mummies, 6 child mummies and mummy parts such as isolated hands, feet, heads and a heart in the KHM collection. Only three mummies are currently on display in the museum itself, although several photos of mummies can be seen in the online catalogue. Hölzl emphasises that the KHM only shows mummies wrapped, and that work is currently underway on new labels with more detailed information about the acquisition of the mummies. According to her, the KHM is in good contact with the Egyptian authorities and there have not yet been any demands for the return of any of the objects in the collection.
"Egyptian mummies are a very essential part of ancient Egyptian culture and therefore also part of the permanent exhibition. If they were not exhibited, a very essential part of ancient Egyptian culture would be missing (information deficit). The deceased are thereby shown in their protective cover." (Hölzl 2021)
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