Museum Brings Cleopatra of Egypt to Life for Students Kids Hope to Separate Myths from Truth about Queen's Story

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Byline: Kari Hartman Daily Herald Staff Writer

A black-haired beauty with a lot of makeup, gold clothes and a pet cheetah.

A queen of Egypt who had an affair with Caesar and fell in love with her brother.

That's Cleopatra - at least in the eyes of a group of students from Naperville's Washington Junior High School. The Daily Herald asked the seventh- and eighth-graders to tell us what they know about the woman and her legend.

With the exhibit "Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth" now open at The Field Museum in Chicago, information on Egypt's last pharaoh is close to home.

Many myths and legends have been passed on about Cleopatra. The question is, what's the truth? Was Cleopatra the gorgeous, glamorous woman portrayed in movies and by Shakespeare? Or was she someone else entirely?

Ten Washington seventh- and eighth-graders shared their thoughts on the Egyptian. The students had learned about Egypt in sixth grade; Cleopatra was just one part of their studies.

They, like quite a few adults, have many questions about Cleopatra - some they thought they knew the answers to, and some they just weren't sure of.

"She wore tons of eye makeup," offered eighth-grader Lindsay Arnold.

"And lots of jewelry," added eighth-grader Pam Larson.

"I think she was hot," said eighth-grader Todd Burtar.

"She had this headdress thing with a snake on it," said eighth- grader Sarah Dickson. …