My week: David Silverman, Tutankhamun exhibition curator

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The Independent Online


I'm tidying up last-minute things. I work on the exhibition panels and the transitional elements. You always think you know what the exhibition space will look like, but only when you see it coming together at the very end do you realise what you want to change and add. Visitors will be guided by an audio tour, but this doesn't mention everything so I want to set up some panels that point out other objects in the other galleries.


I start my day with a few tours for the guides of the exhibition. Some members of the media also visit today to do some interviews. I provide them with a gallery guide which I have written to help them to decide where it is best to film.


It's the big day today. I start at 8.30am to work on a podcast for a newspaper. Prior to the press view this morning I'm already interviewed by two Egyptian channels and one Chinese TV channel. Then, during the press viewing, I speak to members of the British media and do another 18 interviews. I also meet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, which is a bit tricky as I'm unsure of the protocol involved. Tonight I attend the gala dinner at the British Museum, and I sit next to George Bush's sister-in-law, Mrs Columba Bush. It's a great venue – it has some of the best Egyptian collections in the world.


Since I'm a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and also responsible for 40,000 Egyptian artefacts, I have a few other things to work on this morning. I then do a long tour guide interview with the BBC before I attend a reception for the Prince's Trust at the O2. Jerry Hall and Bill Wyman are among those in attendance. This is not something you would see happen so often in the US, so it makes it quite special.


I'm writing a storyline for our commercial team and then have to leave for Vienna, where I am staying for a few days before I continue on to Philadelphia and eventually to Egypt, where I will stay for five weeks. It's not easy to reach me in the desert so I have to anticipate what people will need and prepare some material just in case.


I speak to my colleagues in Vienna about other interesting collections. I've had an enjoyable and also a tiring week. But all the tours and explanations are worth it.