Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Egyptian-style tombs

Today's post was sparked by word from my friend and Egyptian scholar Dr. Jasmine Day that a documentary she features in can now be watched on-line:
Series: The Ancient World in London
Subject: Egyptian Revival Architecture
Length: 9 min.
Note: For best results, pause and let it fully load before watching.
In the video, Jasmine takes us on a tour of Kilmorey Mausoleum in West London (1st image). The tomb was built by Francis Jack "Black Jack" Needham, 2nd Earl of Kilmorey (1787-1880) as a memorial for his mistress Priscilla Hoste (1823-1854), whom he joined in the tomb many times before being laid to rest inside permanently. In fact, he had the mausoleum disassembled and reconstructed in a new location more than once - and constructed tunnels to it - so that he could visit her easily.

While looking this up, I discovered that American actor Nicholas Cage has acquired some Egyptian-style architecture of his own in the shape of a pyramid-shaped tomb in a New Orleans cemetery (2nd image). Despite his financial issues, which have prompted the sale of his mansion described as "eccentric in nature," Cage has commissioned the 9' tomb for his own future interment. In addition to fitting in with his other strange purchases, the pyramid is a symbol that features in his film "National Treasure."

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