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Albany Institute of History and Art hosts Egyptian Family Festival Feb. 14

Kids who attend this year's festival can learn about Egyptian love poems and fashion their own Egyptian amulets, which are ornamental charms. They will also have a chance to mummify an old toy or sculpture -- they can bring in one of their own or make one at the institute.

There will also be tours of the Egyptian gallery led by a docent who has traveled extensively to Egypt. In addition to the mummies, the gallery includes deity statues, several coffin lids and other Egyptian objects.

Gilbank said the festival traditionally appeals to all age groups.

"So many people have an interest in Egypt," she said.

"It's a source of fascination for adults and kids," Ricci agreed.

Gilbank said the Egyptian display is the institute's biggest draw. She thinks one of the reasons the culture has sparked so much interest is that it offers a rare glimpse into an ancient time.

"We know so much about them because of the hieroglyphics," she said, noting that the climate in Egypt has done a remarkable job preserving those hieroglyphics.

The Egyptian Family Festival runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Albany Institute of History and Art. The festival is free with museum admission, which is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $6 for children 6-12. The institute is at 125 Washington Ave., Albany.

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