The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has confirmed King Tut's burial mask was damaged accidentally in August 2014 but can be sensitively restored.
King Tutankhamun's mask can be restored to its former glory after a previous reparation job left the mask crudely glued back together. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where the mask is housed, announced on Friday (23rd January) the mask would be more sensitively repaired.
The mask was accidentally damaged in August 2014 when museum workers were working on the lights in the exhibition space and bumped into the artefact's display case. The mask's beard was knocked off and the mask was scratched. The museum did not initially reveal the mask had been damaged until photographs, taken by museum visitors, were shared on social media and prompted a public outcry.
The famous blue and gold mask was initially repaired with glue and traces of it are evident on the mask. It was, according to reports in ABC, a rushed job after one of the museum staff panicked. "This mistake can happen. But what caused it to get worse? The curator was scared and he fixed it hastily," a museum official explained. The curator reportedly used the wrong type of adhesive which dried quickly when the restoration process demands slow drying glue so it can be removed or adjusted over a 24 hour period.
Egyptian officials, including the Antiquities minister, Mahmud al-Damaty, have previously defended the museum and the actions of the unfortunate curator. "The job was done correctly" al-Damaty stated.
However, experts in the field of Egyptian antiquities have confirmed the mask has been crudely restored but the extent of the damage has been exaggerated. Indeed, one group was so concerned with the object's condition they were considering pressing charges against the Museum.
Christian Eckmann, a specialist the museum requested to evaluate the damage, explained how the restoration was not done "properly" when the mask was damaged in August. "The use of epoxy [glue] is not the best, but it is a solution. However this measure was unfortunately done not really properly, so you can see now some remains of glue at the beard," Eckmann said.
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