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Bronze portrait of Arsinoe III, hellenistic.
Shuebte, XIX dynasty.
Dog Anubi, New kingdom

On permanent display at Palazzo Te, the Egyptian Collection comprises over 500 pieces brought to Italy by the distinguished Mantuan Giuseppe Acerbi, Austrian Consul General in Egypt from1826 to 1834.

The collection also includes Acerbi’s travel notes, two other pieces already in the Accademia di Scienze e Belle Lettere at the end of the 18th century, and the sarcophagus of Ankhekhonsu from Bergamo Archaeological Museum, on temporary loan.

Thanks to clear explanations of the pieces and their historical context the display caters for a wide public.

Of particular interest among the wide range of items collected by Acerbi is the large bronze head of queen Arsinoe, various amulets of animals and deities, shuebte - small figurines that served to replace the deceased person and do their work in the kingdom of the dead, Canopic alabaster vases and a bronze statue of a cat which is one of the finest and best proportioned in existence.

The wooden Ankhekhonsu sarcophagus was intended for an Amon priest from ancient Thebes.

Stylistically typical of the Third Intermediary Period (1178-715BC ), the inscriptions on the cover are dedicated to various deities and include a plea for funerary offerings on behalf of the deceased.