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King Tut Restored: Boy King's Gold Mask Back on Display After Beard Fix

Image: King Tut Restored: Boy King's Gold Mask Back on Display After Beard Fix
The mask of King Tutankhamun, which was found to have been damaged and glued back together, is seen at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo January 24, 2015. (Shadi Bushra/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 17 Dec 2015 01:55 PM

King Tut's restored gold mask is back on display now that experts have removed glue that was applied during a botched repair after the artifact's beard fell off, Agence France-Presse reported.

The restored mask — now back in its display case at the museum — was shown to journalists this week after more than two months' work by a team of German experts.

"It is done," Christian Eckmann, a German specialist in restoration work on antiquities in glass and metal, told reporters at a press conference.

The beard fell off the boy pharaoh's funerary mask in August 2014 at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and employees tried to reattach it with glue.

The accident happened when the mask was removed from its display case to repair the lighting.

In a hurried attempt to fix it, museum workers applied too much epoxy glue, leaving a visible crust.

The restoration included a 3D scan of the mask and removing the beard once more.

"The most challenging process was to remove the beard. We did it by mechanical means . . . using wooden tools," Eckmann said.

The process included warming the mask to enable the adhesive to be removed.

The boy king's death mask is a top attraction at the Egyptian museum, which has hundreds of items from the tomb found in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter along with the pharaoh's mummy in Luxor's Valley of the Kings.

When Carter discovered the treasure, the ceremonial beard was already loose and he himself removed it for the first time, Eckmann said.

"Ninety years after Carter accomplished the first restoration of the mask in December 1925, we have the pleasure to present the mask in its original" form, he said.

Tutankhamun died aged 19 in 1324 BC after reigning for nine years. His 11-kilo (24.2-pound) solid gold funerary mask is encrusted with lapis lazuli and semi-precious stones.

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King Tut's restored gold mask is back on display now that experts have removed glue that was applied during a botched repair after the artifact's beard fell off, Agence France-Presse reported.
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Thursday, 17 Dec 2015 01:55 PM
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