Egyptian restorers were face to face Wednesday with an alabaster seated statue of King Menkawre at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir in an attempt to pack it for transportation to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking Giza plateau.
The statue during packing
Tarek Tawfik, GEM Supervisor General, told Ahram Online that the statue is safe and was undamaged during packing as rumoured.
The statue, he continued, has been in very poor condition since it was discovered in 1908 at Menkawre's Valley Temple in Giza Plateau. The statue was suffering from cracks and was incorrectly restored when first discovered.
Tawfik said that the first individuals who attempted to restore the statue used gypsum and cement, which had negative impact on the statue.
Recently, he continued, employees at the Tahrir museum consolidated and packed the statue before its voyage to the GEM, where employees would repair the statue and restore it correctly.
"The statue is safe and in the same condition as it has always been in," Tawfik asserted.
statue at its arrival at the GEM
Eissa Zidan, director of GEM restorations, told Ahram Online that the packing procedures were carried out according to the latest techniques by consolidating the statue weak points with state-of-the-art Japanese paper called Tshou and covering it with cotton pillows which are in turn covered with the Tshou.
Zidan explains that the statue was also covered with a special kind of textile and cotton before it was consolidated with wooden beams padded with foam. Safety belts were also put around the statue with a special design named L-Shape.
The statue arrived safely at the GEM and it will be subjected to comprehensive restoration in order to prepare it to its permanent exhibition at the GEM.
the statue on its way to the lab at GEM
The statue is depicting King Menkawre seated on the thrown with his royal skirt and crown decorated with the copra. His hand is on his feet.
The statue at the Egyptian Museum before packing