I like to think that I live a rich and varied cultural life, although having to juggle a full time job and three children means that I can’t keep up with everything. In particular it’d been a while since I’d been to an exhibition. And yet in the past week I’ve been to two, rather different ones (although there was a common theme of life-sized replicas of small boys…).

Firstly, four of us paid an evening visit to the Museum of the City of Brussels (a last-minute change to our cinema plans) to see an exhibition of watercolour paintings of 19th century Brussels. This part wasn’t too thrilling, but off in a small side room was one of the permanent exhibits: a collection of Mannekin Pis costumes. Yes, the famous naked urinating boy statue often wears clothes donated by ambassadors and artists. Only a small selection were on display, but you get the idea:


Saudi Arabia:

Somewhere in South America, I think:

A Binche carnival costume:

Agata Ruiz De La Prada:

And some bizarre ceramic remodelling:

Then at the weekend we made a family outing to the Tutankhamun exhibition. Our two year old napped in his stroller the whole time, which was a relief, and the girls listened attentively to their audio guides and marvelled at all the gold and general shininess. The three short videos at the start set the scene well, explaining about King Tut’s life, Howard Carter’s life, and the details of the discovery of the tomb. Interesting stuff, although I feel slightly cheated when I pay for an exhibiton and I end up watching TV.

Then we moved through into a large room showcasing beautifully accurate and detailed replicas of all the treasures found in the tomb, including the sarcophagi, the famous death mask, thrones, chariots, and various knick-knacks and doodads they thought he’d find useful in the next life.

We exited through the gift shop. We did not buy one of these, although the girls got a shiny gold pencil and a set of pharaoh temporary tattoos.