The Disneyfication of Ozymandias

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

“Ozymandias” sonnet by Shelley
In 2017, a statue of Ramses II was discovered in the slums of Cairo. AP Photo.

I’m starting to feel like the grumpy old man next door when I go to museums. Case in point: this week’s sojourn to see the “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharoahs” exhibit, at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. I was decidedly underwhelmed. Or, perhaps I should say overwhelmed by the crowds of people in small spaces, coupled with constant video and barking audio displays, to the point where it was hard to stand and just take in the 3200-year-old artifacts. I am such a history buff that I thought I’d be a little more impressed, so why wasn’t I? I have a theory, plus an important museum hack to share.

Part of the “Ramses the Great” touring exhibit, photo by kajmeister.
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