By Maev Kennedy
3,000-year-old sarcophagus lit up by candles to mark bicentenary of discovery and re-enact British architect and collector's celebration of acquiring it
When the architect Sir John Soane finally managed to install his greatest treasure in his extraordinary combined home, studio and museum in London, he threw a three day party to celebrate.
The sarcophagus of the pharaoh Seti I, carved from a single vast block of translucent stone, cost Soane £2,000 after the British Museum turned it down as too expensive. Getting in the 3,000-year-old relic, the size of a small boat and weighing several tonnes, involved knocking down a sizeable chunk of his back wall, and demolishing his unfortunate house keeper's sitting room.