A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Well, at Least They Didn't Use Duct Tape: The Curious Case of King Tut's Beard

The gold burial mask of Tutankhamun is probably the most precious and most famous treasure of the Egyptian Museum,  which in turn is one of the world's greatest museums. Yet, as you've no doubt heard by now, when Tut's beard came loose in cleaning, someone unspecified tried to put it back using epoxy. When the epoxy was visible, someone tried to remove it and scratched the mask.

The Ministry of Antiquities is investigating, but this adds to the concern over the fate if antiquities in Egypt since 2011. The single best known attraction of the museum (and an exhibit whose world tours have earned lots of money), has been repaired (and botched) by museum conservators using the kind of technique a kid might lose to fix a broken toy.

I have no words. Or none of more than four letters at any rate.

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