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Serbs are flocking to see the 2,300-year old mummy that has gone on show at Belgrade University.
|The mummy, Photo curtesy of National Museum in Belgrade|
History lovers from across Serbia are coming to Belgrade University’s Faculty of Philosophy to see the enbalmed 2,300-year-old body of an Egyptian priest called Nesmin, now known as the Belgrade mummy.
For the first time since 2008, the mummy has been presented in a specially built show case costing 35,000 euro, put on as part of Serbia's European heritage days.
The mummy came to Belgrade from Luxor in Egypt in the late 19th century as a gift for the Serbian people from Hadzi Pavle Ridjicki.
Gordana Grabez, from the National Museum, which possesses the mummy, said that interest in the exhibition was enormous, and all appointments for visiting the exhibition are having to be scheduled in advance.
"This will be an exellent oportunity for archaeology students to examine authentic remains from old Egypt," she said.
"The wider audience can also become familiar with this important relict, which was a great example, being a gift, of true philanthropy on Ridjicki's part," Grabez told Balkan Insight.
The exhibition has required construction of a special showcase with double glass panels filled with argon, special cold lights and a built-in temperature regulator.
Hadzi Pavle Ridjicki, a wealthy Serb, bought the mummy while on a trip in Egypt and donated it to the nation in 1888.
The name of the high priest, Nusmin, means "One who is dedicated to God Min".
He was 50 when he died.
According to Grabez, as many as 320 people saw the mummy over the weekend. Only 20 visitors are allowed to see it per hour due to special temperature and humidity conditions that have to be met.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.
Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin…