Since its landmark exhibition of Tibetan artifacts last year, Santa Ana’s Bowers Museum, previously a relative unknown among casual museum buffs, has proven itself to be a cultural and educational gold mine.
Its latest exhibition, ‘Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality,’ is no less groundbreaking. On loan from the historic British Museum in London, the exhibition features more than 100 artifacts on their first ever stop on American soil.
The Bowers’ acquisition of the exhibit is a ‘major coup,’ as museum spokesperson Rick Weinberg said, both for the community and the Bowers itself.
‘We are the first museum in the world outside of England to sign a long-term joint venture agreement with the British Museum,’ Weinberg explained.
This agreement, of which ‘Queen of Sheba’ is the first product, is especially impressive given the Bowers’ comparatively small size.
‘On a scale of one to 10,’ Weinberg said, ‘[the Bowers] is probably, as far as size goes, a four.’
For the British Museum to choose the Bowers as its first and only American partner is almost as impressive as the exhibit itself.
Often characterized as the biblical counterpart of Cleopatra, the Queen of Sheba’s history is as mysterious as it is legendary. She is reputed to have been the ruler of an ancient southern Arabian civilization called ‘Saba’