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TV show filming mummy exhibit at St. Pete History Museum

This 1995 file photo shows the mummy that has resided at the St. Petersburg Museum of History since 1925.
Published Jul. 29, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG – A call has gone out for extras to gawk and cheer as the newly designed quarters of St. Petersburg's oldest transplant – an authentic mummy -- is unveiled today at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

Those making their way to the museum at 335 Second Ave. NE by 4:30 p.m. could find themselves playing a peripheral role in the new television show Museum Men, planned for the cable network H2. It's about people who build museum displays and tells the stories connected to the artifacts.

This particular episode will feature the work of Creative Arts Unlimited in Pinellas Park, which has designed and built an Egyptian exhibit with a King Tut theme for St. Petersburg's resident mummy, museum executive director Rui Farias said.

Didn't know the city had such an artifact?

As former executive director Will Michaels explained in the Tampa Bay Times almost a decade ago, " 'Our Lady of the Nile,' as we call her, is approximately 3,000 years old" and arrived in St. Petersburg on a circus boat in 1922.

"The boat captain could not afford the local port fees so he offered the mummy in lieu of payment. The mummy eventually found her way to our history museum, where she has long been a favorite of visitors," Michaels said.

Other tidbits include the fact that she has been X-rayed, undergone a CT scan and is estimated to have been about 30 when she died.

The mummy is displayed in a climate-controlled case, Farias said.

"They didn't redo her case," he said of this week's work. Instead, he said, the museum wants to wait until it rebuilds its St. Petersburg gallery in coming months to make that change. Farias, who is being interviewed for the TV show, said the new display includes new graphics and a replica of King Tut's sarcophagus.

"It's very authentic," he said.

Farias said producers learned about St. Petersburg's mummy from Creative Arts, which built the museum's new baseball exhibit.

No air date has been announced for the series, which is being produced by T Group Productions in California.

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at wmoore@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.

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