Four Places to Worship Isis That Aren’t In Egypt | Smart News | Smithsonian
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Four Places to Worship Isis That Aren’t In Egypt

Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser gave Nubian temples to four countries who helped preserve monuments from that era. It's rumored that at least one of them—the temple installed at a museum in Leiden, in the Netherlands—is regularly rented out for Isis worshipping parties.

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The temple at the Met, in New York City. Photo: Flickr user Cåsbr

Decades ago, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser gave Nubian temples to four countries who helped preserve monuments from that era. It’s rumored that at least one of them—the temple installed at a museum in Leiden, in the Netherlands—is regularly rented out for Isis worshipping parties:

According to my Dutch friend, Nico Overmars (Leiden-based architect), the cult of Isis is still alive! The hall where the temple is exhibited can be hired for private events, and there are rumours about high profile visitors that hire the hall and engage in rituals of veneration of the ancient goddess to whom the temple was dedicated originally. Nico does not know that for sure, but “people speculate” as he put it.

Isis also appears in the temple in New York City (housed at the Met) and the one in Spain. The fourth temple is located in Turin, Italy. While not all Egyptian are stoked that their former president gave away these relics, a “young Italian curator” told Ahram Online that the country “earned” the right to host the temple:

It is ours because we earned it. It belongs here because Italians are crazy about Ancient Egypt and they showed it over and again…Italy gave the world some of the best Egyptologists ever, like Schiaparelli, Drovetti, Barsanti, and ‘The Great Belzoni’! Belzoni alone would have been justification enough.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Unearthing Egypt’s Greatest Temple

Egypt’s Crowning Glory

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About Sarah Laskow
Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor of Smart News. Her work has appeared in print and online for Grist, GOODSalon, The American Prospect, Newsweek, New York among other publications.

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