Date
22 September 2017
The beard on King Tut's golden mask was glued back on, the Egyptian Museum admitted. Photo: Reuters
The beard on King Tut's golden mask was glued back on, the Egyptian Museum admitted. Photo: Reuters

King Tut beard broke off, glued back, Egypt museum says

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo admitted that one of its greatest treasures, King Tutankhamun’s mask, had been crudely glued back together after being damaged, but insisted the golden mask could be restored to its former glory, Reuters reported.

The beard was detached in August, but the museum had not made the incident public until photographs appeared on the internet showing a line of glue around the chin.

They prompted speculation about the damage and questions over whether Egypt was able to care for its priceless artifacts.

The beard broke off when museum workers were changing the lights in its display case and accidentally touched the mask, the antiquities ministry said.

Christian Eckmann, a German conservator brought in to evaluate the damage, told reporters the seriousness of the damage has been exaggerated and that using epoxy glue to glue the beard back on is an acceptable solution.

“However this measure was unfortunately done not really properly, so you can see now some remains of glue at the beard,” he said.

The boy king’s beard has been glued on before. The beard was not fixed to the death mask when it was excavated in the early 1920s, Eckmann said. 

It was not until 1941 that the beard piece was reattached to the mask with glue that has deteriorated over the past 70 years, the report quoted him as saying.

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