Pop-up Exhibition – Gilded Mummy Masks

Special Exhibitions /20.04 - 21.06.2024

To ensure a successful afterlife in ancient Egypt, it was important to preserve the identity of the deceased by including a portrayal in the grave.

Glyptoteket has a variety of such portrayals in the form of mummy masks, which were used to cover the face of the deceased. The museum has a collection of such gilded mummy masks from the Roman period in Egypt, from the 1st to the 3rd century CE.

Previously, there was very little knowledge about these gilded mummy masks. Therefore, the masks have recently been thoroughly investigated by the museum’s Polychromy Research Group. The scientific analyses tell us what kind of materials and techniques the Egyptians used to make the masks, and how they were used.

The largest of the masks, depicting a woman, were made by using textile, plaster, gilding, plant gum, animal glue, pigments (red and yellow ochre, carbon black, Egyptian blue, copper green, organic red), as well as plant fibres for the wig.

Three of these examined masks are exhibited in a small pop-up exhibition in connection with The Danish Science Festival but are otherwise not exhibited at the museum. They will be displayed in hall 3 and only from April 20th to June 21st 2024.

The research project is funded by:

Kirsten and Freddy Johansen’s Foundation



Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Behind the scenes på Glyptoteket

Senior Conservation Scientist Jens Stenger and Postdoctoral researcher, PhD in Science Tuuli Kasso in the laboratory

Behind the scenes på Glyptoteket

A mummy mask in the laboratory


See the exciting activities and events, the Glyptotek has to offer. Please note, the events in Danish will not be presented here. Go to the Danish version of the homepage to see all events.


Enjoy a delicious lunch at Picnic overlooking the Glyptotek's beautiful Winter Garden.

After Nature

Experience a new reading of the Glyptotek’s paintings by the Danish writer Josefine Klougart