On 21st January 2010, a wonderful, well-attended, evening reception was organised by the Friends of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College, London to celebrate the generous donation to the museum by Anne and Fraser Mathews of a Ramses Wissa Wassef tapestry, "Dahshur Lake" by Sayed Mahmoud.


Sayed Mahmoud weaving

Photo: © Ikram Nosshi



Dahshur Lake by Sayed Mahmoud

Photo: © Ikram Nosshi

The tapestry has been hung by the doorway between the two main rooms of the Museum and visitors enjoyed a display of photographs and a slide-show about the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre which was arranged by Jan Picton of the Friends of The Petrie Museum.

Dr Stephen Quirke, professor of Egyptology and curator of The Petrie Museum gratefully accepted the donation on behalf of the museum and Ann Mathews gave a moving reading of part of "Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Sun".

Dr Stephen Quirke accepting the donation

Photo: © Jan Picton

Anne Mathews reading "Akhenaten's Hymn to the Sun"

Photo: © Jan Picton

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London houses 80,000 objects covering all periods of Egyptian history from the Stone Age to modernity: most of the collection was assembled by the great archaeologist Flinders Petrie, who was especially fascinated by the development of techniques over time - including weaving. In an extraordinary echo across the centuries, the brilliant colours and Nile landscape of Sayed Mahmoud's masterpiece invoke the tile fragments excavated by Petrie in the palaces of Akhenaten in Amarna. The museum rarely expands its collections as it is raising funds for a proper building, but this acquisition was made possible by the Anne and Fraser Mathews gift. The presence of the tapestry in the Petrie Museum creates a new link with its spiritual home, the lands of the Nile.