Fundación Iberdrola España to restore an Egyptian coffin from the National Archaeological Museum

Fundación Iberdrola España to restore an Egyptian coffin from the National Archaeological Museum

  • The restoration work will allow the recovery and conservation of the Egyptian coffin of Ruru
  • Iberdrola, through its foundation in Spain, is financing the entire project, considered an extraordinary piece of the MAN collection

Fundación Iberdrola España has signed a collaboration agreement with the Association of Friends of the National Archaeological Museum (AMAN) to carry out the restoration-conservation of a wooden coffin that belonged to the Egyptian priestess Ruru (“singer of Amun”).

This project will improve the conservation and enhancement of this important coffin, which dates from the mid-21st Dynasty, from 1070 to 945 BC. The restoration work will restore its splendor and remedy the deterioration and damage it has suffered in the past since it arrived at the Museum in 1895.

The piece is part of one of the most important collections of Egyptian antiquities in our country, an example of the diversity and quality of the collections of the National Archaeological Museum, a state-owned museum under the Ministry of Culture.

The restoration of the Ruru coffin is yet another example of Iberdrola’s commitment to art and culture, and its permanent aim to promote the conservation of the heritage of state collections.

This was made clear in the agreement signed today in Madrid by the president of the Association of Friends of the National Archaeological Museum, Gonzalo Ruiz Zapatero, and the director of the Iberdrola Foundation Spain, Ramón Castresana, in the presence of the director of the MAN, Isabel Izquierdo, and the president of the Iberdrola Foundation Spain, Fernando García.

Egyptian coffin of Ruru of the MAN

The coffin was donated by the Egyptian government in 1893 in the so-called “lot 13” assigned to Spain.  It was found in Bab el-Gasus, a cache of Egyptian mummies belonging to priests of the Third Intermediate Period, in Luxor. The coffin consists of a box and upper cover, made of wood and polychrome, with representation of several divinities and hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Study and Restoration Project

The purpose of the study and restoration project is to ensure the future conservation and enhancement of the coffin, recovering as far as possible the preserved decoration and the richness of the pigments used. It also seeks to help understand the current state of conservation, what interventions and changes it has undergone over time, the techniques used in its production, carving, and decoration, whether it may be a reused coffin (as is often the case), and may even reveal or clarify inscriptions that have been hidden by previous interventions or dirt itself.

The project includes exhaustive documentation of the condition of the piece and of the restoration process itself, applying the scientific studies carried out previously, which, together with other new studies, will help to obtain and generate more information for research and long-term preservation. After the intervention, the coffin will be exhibited in the museum’s permanent exhibition rooms for the enjoyment of the public in the most appropriate conditions of conservation.

Fundación Iberdrola España with culture

In addition to this type of restoration, since 2010 Fundación Iberdrola España has been developing an ambitious project for the recovery and maintenance of the monumental ensemble of Romanesque art in Spain and Portugal, the Atlantic Romanesque Plan. A cross-border cooperation project developed together with the Secretary of State for Culture of Portugal and the Regional Government of Castilla y León.

It also carries out interventions in artistic monuments and unique buildings to install or improve interior and/or exterior lighting to contribute to the enhancement of the historical and artistic heritage and to improve energy efficiency.