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Eight Egyptians face trial for botched restoration of Tutamkhamun's mask

Jan 27, 2016 Eight Egyptian museum employees will soon appear before a disciplinary court over the careless reattachment of the beard on king Tutankhamunt’s famous burial mask.

The employees included the museum’s ex-general manager and the previous head of the museum’s restoration unit. All eight parties face charges over their involvement in the damage done to the mask and their attempts to conceal it.

The golden mask’s beard was detached in August 2014, but it wasn’t until January of the following year, when photographs surfaced on the Internet showing a line of glue around Tutankhamun chin, that the damage was discovered.

The defendants were referred to court by Egypt’s Administrative Prosecution after an investigative committee set up by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities discovered the cause behind the damage.

A German conservation expert, Christian Eckmann, was appointed by minister of antiquities to assess the damage.

Commenting on the damage, he said:

“There’s no actual endangering of the mask right now. The second is the measurements which have been taken are reversible. So, just to clarify, or to clarify the situation, I would like to say to you that during the history of when Carter excavated the mask, the beard was already loose. We have lots of photographs which document that during the in situ situation, the beard was not fixed to the mask, and then after the transfer in about 1924, the mask was brought to the Cairo museum still with a loose beard. (In) 1941, the beard was then fixed to the mask, for the first time. Since that it was on display at the Cairo museum, and unfortunately last year in August, it happens that during an attempt to change the light situation in the display case, the mask was touched, and the beard fell apart. Most probably this happens due to the glue which was used during the first restoration in 1944.”

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