The Egyptian mummy mask at Vänersborg Museum
The Egyptian antiquity cabinet at the Vänersborg Museum is a veritable treasure house for anyone who is the least bit interested in history and international cultural heritage. This is the story of a golden shimmering fragment from the distant past, but which still seems strangely alive.
In the museum's Egyptian antiquity cabinet there is a fragment of a gilded mummy mask, found in the middle of the 19th century in Thebes.
The founder of the Vänersborg Museum, Adolf Andersohn, made annual voyages around Europe from the start of the 1850s. As Vänersborg's first cultural tourist, he enjoyed visiting museums, art exhibitions, castles and churches.
Inspiration from major museums in the world
From the world's major museums in Berlin, Paris and London, he found inspiration for the museum he would later create: a national museum in miniature. In several of the museums in the capitals of Europe there were magnificent exhibitions of ancient Egyptian collections. In the winter of 1867-68, when Andersohn also had the opportunity of visiting Egypt on his long Oriental journey, he was astonished by its monumental ancient buildings and huge collections.
An attempt to embrace the world
It was not until 1885, however, and after much work, that he could start on his vision to build the Vänersborg Museum, which would embrace the whole world. A collection of ancient Egyptian items was imperative in his view. The Swedish Consul General in Alexandria, Oscar von Heidenstam, responded to Andersohn's request for Egyptian objects and sent the collection, including the mummy mask, to Vänersborg in 1886.
Unfortunately Andersohn was unable to see his museum fully completed. In May 1887, during the arrangement of the Egyptian exhibition, he suffered a stroke and died a week later.
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