On this afternoon of school holidays, there are about twenty aboard “L’Égyptobus”, a truck fitted out and designed by the Louvre-Lens and the Pas-de-Calais departmental council to build new access to culture. throughout the territory.
Second stopover at the departmental park of Olhain, where families usually come for tree climbing or minigolf. “It’s a piece of Louvre-Lens that moves to meet the department to get closer to people”. summarizes Gautier Verbeke, director of mediation at the museum.
“How long do you think hieroglyphics were used by the Egyptians? From 3200 BC and until the 4th century afterwards, therefore for more than 3600 years! » While Florence Borel, mediation project manager at the Louvre-Lens, continues the visit with a small group of children accompanied by their parents or grandparents, Natéo, 12, lives, for her part, a virtual reality experience, helmet screwed on the head and flashlight in hand. ” That’s great ! For eight minutes, we follow a little black cat through the temples of Abu Simbel and discover the hieroglyphs. We have, for example, deciphered the word Ramses,” says the teenager from Bruay-la-Buissière.
The Egyptobus seems to meet its public
L’exposure on hieroglyphs currently offered by the Louvre-Lens celebrates the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of these fascinating symbols of Egyptian civilization. Managed by three cultural mediators and two agents from the department, this itinerant deployment is a first for the museum, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
The Egyptobus seems to meet its public. It is also advisable to book, for the visit and for the virtual reality workshop. In Boulogne-sur-Mer, the first stage of its circuit, it attracted more than 1,200 people in one week. It was here that Auguste Mariette, a pioneer of modern Egyptology, was born who continued the work of Champollion.
Maxine, 9 years old, Natéo’s little sister, made a sarcophagus model and an amulet during a manual workshop. This 40 m2 space is transformed according to the activities: in the morning, the Egyptobus was in workshop configuration, in the afternoon, in an exhibition space, but it can also host conferences on ancient Egypt. The little girl is having fun with an interactive book, placed next to several board games. “Ramses, we have him at home, notes Natéo, but these games“Operation Amon-Rê” and “The Builders”, I don’t know them…”
Florence Borel continues the visit, showing reproductions of the head of Osiris or a statue of Ramses II and explaining the meaning of certain hieroglyphs, here a seated figure, there a feather: “Some drawings represent sounds (phonograms) and others ideas (ideograms). »
Installed in the library corner with his mother, Alexandre, 9 years old and passionate about Egyptology, has already visited the exhibition visible at the Louvre-Lens until January 16, 2023, where he liked “see real sarcophagi”. The project manager also encourages the children to come and see her. “You can try to win some very nice prizes, because there is a contest at the moment…”
“Of course, we hope to make people want to go see the exhibition, but we can also be satisfied with this visit to the Egyptobus, confides his colleague Emma Delforge, cultural mediator. We try to remain general and accessible in the subject with a population that does not necessarily have museum experience. » The Egyptobus is a first for the Louvre-Lens, but the museum also offers off-the-wall modules in two shopping centers in the region.