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Inspiration for papryri came from Cairo

The Italian Embassy in Cairo's initiative to have Giorgio Piccaia paint a mural at its entrance provided the inspiration for the show that will bring five ancient Egyptian papyri from the Egyptian Museum in Florence to the WopArt festival in Lugano.

Piccaia told ANSAmed that he had the idea last winter while painting a mural on the outer protective wall of the Italian Embassy in Cairo.

That work was inspired by Neolithic cave paintings in the Deer Cave of Porto Badisco in the region of Puglia.

"I had the idea of this temporary show of precious Egyptian papyri from Florence while speaking with Ambassador Giampaolo Cantini, the head of the Italian Archaeological Centre Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi, and the director of the Italian Institute of Culture Paolo Sabbatini during my stay in Cairo last February," said Piccaia, the painter and curator of the Swiss show.

Last week it was announced that the 4th edition of the international festival dedicated to artwork on paper WopArt - Work on Paper Fair, taking place September 19-22, 2019 at the city's exhibition centre, will include the papyri.

The papyri are an example of the various ways this ancient paper form was used, from hieroglyphics to Greek and Coptic writing and pictures, such as those that accompany the famed Book of the Dead.

The exhibition will contain some explanatory panels dedicated to the history of the collection at the Egyptian Museum of Florence - the second-largest Egyptian museum in Italy following Turin, and the eighth-largest in the world - as well as Egyptian writing and the use of papyrus as a writing support.

There will also be a video by the Museum of Papyrus in Syracuse on how the papyrus plant is cultivated and processed.

The exhibition is not only for experts and enthusiasts who want to deepen their knowledge of the world of art on paper, but also for students of all ages and those who are simply curious.

Piccaia said he is developing "many works" using papyrus that he receives directly from Egypt, and said the project will culminate in "an important show in 2020".

The photo shows some chapters from a Book of the Dead that dates to 3,200 years ago and was recently under restoration in the laboratory at the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

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