Egyptologist on Video

The interview with Valonda, who explored with me the Egyptian Collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art for WNCN’s “My Carolina Talk” a couple of weeks ago, aired this morning.

Source: The Egyptian Collection At The North Carolina Museum Of Art

Black light on Bacchus

The recent work on the NCMA’s statue of a Bacchus was featured in my post on August 11; however, there appeared yesterday on Circa, the Museum blog, a fabulous post (if I may say so myself) that delves into the actual UV examination and the Bacchus Conservation Project like never before. Check out the very awesome video on Circa: Black Light on Bacchus: Inside a UV Exam.

I have to thank Luke for the video editing, sound editing and film footage, Karen M. and Chris for the stills and UV photos, Karen K. for the post storyboard and editing, Stacey and Corey for their conservation eye, Maggie and the guys for moving Bacchus around, Noelle for poking her head in the studio once in a while to check if we needed anything and Emily for mentioning our UV session on social media (which actually attracted the attention of journalists). 

Bronze statue of the Boxer at Rest

My ARCHAEO-Crush for the month of May is a fabulous Greek bronze found in a museum in Rome.

An original Greek bronze sculpture of a boxer at rest.

An original Greek bronze sculpture of a boxer at rest.

Type: artefact (bronze statue, lost-wax process)
Civilisation: Ancient Greece
Date: Between the 4th and 2nd century BCE (Hellenistic period)
ARCHAEO-Crush: Greek bronzes are rare not only because bronze was expensive, but also because it could be melted down and reused. However, the examples that survived the millennia–like the Boxer at Rest–show an exceptional mastery of technique and breath-taking details.  The boxer was found in 1885 on the Quirinal, near the baths of Constantine. It is a Hellenistic masterpiece representing a professional athlete.  My photo does not do justice to this remarkable work of art.   The pugilist is resting after receiving quite a beating: he has broken nose, cauliflower ears and he might have lost some teeth.  His face is scarred and bruised, and has bleeding cuts. What is quite amazing is the fact that artist has used red copper inlays to indicate the bloody cuts and there are even a few drops and trickles of blood shown on his right  shoulder, forearm, caestus (leather glove) and thigh, as if they have fallen there after he moved his head! You will find an interesting video about the Boxer at Rest on the site of  Khan Academy.
Bucket list status: I saw this astounding bronze statue during the summer of 2014 while in Rome. It was not on my bucket list because I was not aware of this statue (I came upon it quite by chance), but it is now one of my favourites at the Palazzo Massimo.
Additional info:
The work is on view at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (one of the branches of the Museo nazionale romano) and its inventory number is 1055. Should you be in Rome, I would highly recommend visiting the museum just to see this work.  The Palazzo Massimo is not far from Termini station, you can walk there.


Yes, this was the Kool and the Gang song we used in our dance video, but it was also the atmosphere at the museum today (at least amongst those who had participated in the project): we made it to Round 2 of the competition! Near the end, it was a very tight race with the First Division Museum in Wheaton, IL. The semi-finals should be next week and I’ll let you know of the date to vote for us again.

Thanks to all who voted for us in our moment of museum silliness.

Museum Dance Off 2

When you work at a museum you sometimes do strange things like… participate in a dance video competition hosted by Twenty-eight museums have entered the competition, including the NCMA. (The other museums are from Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and even Mongolia!)  Watch the trailer.

The reason I am mentioning this competition is that I’m actually in the video!!! (Not surprisingly, the staff members who participated are normally the ones who hit the dance floor at the Museum Christmas party!) We had great fun filming and the resulting video is quite amusing (if I may say so myself). You’ll see me lead a tour around the galleries, having fun and dancing… although we’re just grooving to Kool and the Gang. Don’t expect any ballroom dancing moves on my part… not this time! (For those who don’t know, ballroom dancing is one of my hobbies.)  You can view the video below:

 NCMA Museum Dance Off 2 Video

I hope you’ll vote for us!  Voting starts on Monday April 20 and for this first round you will be able to vote for our video on, and only on, April 22, starting at 8am EDT (UTC-04:00). We’re competing against another American museum, a Canadian museum and an Australian heritage complex. To cast your vote, all you have to do is go to

Thank you in advance for your encouragement and your vote!


Circa: What Does It Mean?

Today, the North Carolina Museum of Art launched a brand new website and its blog has been renamed Circa, a term archaeologists and curators of ancient art often use. Circa: What Does It Mean? is the first post on the blog, presented by Karen Kelly, NCMA senior editor. The post includes a video by yours truly, where I explain the meaning of the term circa, its use on gallery labels along with B.C.E. and C.E.

Click on the blue link above to read Karen’s post and see my video.