Large coffin of King Tutankhamun under restoration for first time since 1922

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 17 Jul 2019

After restoration work is complete, the coffin will be displayed along with two others of the king at the Grand Egyptian Museum

King Tutankhamun

Almost a century after its discovery, the largest gilded coffin of King Tutankhamun is under restoration for the first time following its transportation to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

The coffin was the only one left in the boy king’s tomb in Luxor’s west bank after the removal of two others to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo in 1922. 

Regretfully, time has taken a toll on the coffin and it is suffering varied forms of decay.

Eissa Zidan, head of First Aid Restoration at the GEM explained that the coffin is showing cracks in its gilded layers.

Zidan said restoration work would take no less than eight months, adding that a complete report on the damage has been compiled prior to its transportation to the GEM.

Al-Tayeb Abbas, director general of antiquities at the GEM, said that after restoration the coffin would be put on display at the GEM among the boy king’s treasured collection, including two coffins now on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. 

“At the opening of the GEM in 2020, the boy king’s three coffins will be together for the first time ever,” Abbas told Ahram Online.

The three coffins were found on each other. The smallest one is carved of pure gold while the two others are made of wood coated with layers of gold plaster.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the restoration work was approved by the Permanent Committee of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities.

The coffin was moved amid tight security measures and under the supervision of archeologists and in cooperation with the Tourism and Antiquities Police.

Local and international media will be invited in the next two weeks, after sterilisation of the coffin is completed, for a viewing at the GEM.

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