Egypt to restore King Tutankhamun's mask after botched epoxy job

AP , Friday 9 Oct 2015

King Tutankhamun
File Photo: In this Aug. 12, 2014, photo provided by Jacqueline Rodriguez, a man glues the beard part of King Tutankhamun's mask back on at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun was hastily glued back on with epoxy, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning, conservators at the museum in Cairo said Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 (Photo: AP)

The restoration of King Tutankhamun's world-famous golden mask will begin Saturday, over a year after the beard was accidentally broken off and hastily glued back with epoxy, Egypt's state-run news agency said Friday.

A German-Egyptian team will remove the mask from its display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and repair it in another area of the museum, MENA reported.

The 3,300-year-old burial pharaonic mask was discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb along with other artifacts by British archeologists in 1922, sparking worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient Egypt.

The beard became detached during work on the relic's lighting in August 2014 and then was hastily reattached with epoxy.

In a January press conference by Egypt's antiquities ministry, days after the botched reattachment came to light, restoration specialist Christian Eckmann said the epoxy could be removed and the mask properly restored.

Eckmann said the beard had likely loosened over the years and has been detached previously.

The mask is arguably the best-known piece in the museum, one of Cairo's main tourist sites, which was built in 1902 and houses artifacts and mummies of ancient Egyptian rulers.

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