We spent New Year's in Copenhagen, and while most museums were shuttered for the holidays, one of the most elegant remained open: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. It's an art museum housing vast collections of Danish paintings, Roman artifacts and sculpture, and a few rooms with the works of well-known French painters and sculptors (Rodin, Degas).
The Glyptotek also has a small collection of Egyptian artifacts: jewelry and jars (yes, canopic jars) from ancient tombs, several sarcophagi, and two actual, exposed mummies. If you look close enough at one of the bodies, you can see a shriveled, black finger poking out from between layers of browning gauze. That part of the exhibit gave me the creeps. Not because of the finger, but because at some point somebody robbed a massive grave to acquire these things and stick them in a museum. I can see its value, but at the end of the day, we're still looking at bodies that somebody dug up from their resting place. Who knows, maybe 4,000 years from now, people will dig us out of our cemeteries and stare at our shriveled up bodies, too, and we we'll never know the difference, but I couldn't help feeling strange seeing that exhibit.
But back to the more beautiful parts of museum. What really impressed me about the place was the building. It was full of elegant curves and tall colonnades and lots of natural light, which seems rare in a museum. The Glyptotek has a beautiful, lively courtyard, with palm trees so tall they're pressed against the third-story ceiling. There are 2nd century Roman ruins among leafy green plants.
What I loved most about the building was the floors. Every room had it's own mosaic tile pattern, and while some were similar, no two were exactly alike. In more than a few rooms, I found the floors more interesting than what hung on the walls.
If you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, I'd highly recommend spending a long afternoon here! (Just be prepared for the mummies...)