Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Egyptian treasures to go on show

Outer coffin of Padiamum
Some items have not been displayed since World War Two

A major exhibition containing 1,500 Egyptian artefacts, including a mummy which inspired a Victorian novel, are being showcased in Liverpool.

The new gallery at the city's World Museum looks at the history of the Pharaohs, with items on display dating back to 1180 BC.

A belt, belonging to the last great Pharaoh, Rameses III, is being shown for the first time since World War II.

Curator Ashley Cooke said it was one of "the finest collections anywhere".

Among the items on display is the mummy, which inspired H Rider Haggard's fantasy adventure, She.

'Haunting tombs'

The best-selling Victorian author was a keen collector of Egyptian artefacts.

The exhibitions includes sections on spells which Pharaohs carried in their coffins to prevent bad things happening to them.

Mr Cooke added: "No other civilisation in world history has captured the imagination quite like Ancient Egypt, the first nation state.

"These remarkable people left their mark on the world and influenced all who followed them. Today their wonderful, haunting tombs and all they left behind continue to exert an endless fascination."

Visitors can 'unwrap' one of the mummies on display without touching it, using an interactive computer feature.

Animal mummies are also in the collection, including a hawk and crocodile.

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