Newsflash! King Tut Loses Beard!

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This Just In!

While cleaning King Tut’s famous mask, conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo got a little carried away and accidentally broke off the beard!  These “restoration experts” must not have been too professional because they then used epoxy, a type of adhesive suitable for metal or stone but not for the materials in the mask, to glue it back on.  Now there is a noticeable gap between the beard and the chin comprised of transparent yellow resin!  And that is not all.  Apparently drops of glue fell on the mask and were allowed to dry before being scraped off, leaving scratch marks behind!

This all happened last year but is only now being made known (January 2015).  The conservators refuse to take the blame for “defacing” one of the world’s most treasured relics and say that they had strict orders to get the beard back on as quickly as possible.

Since Egypt always maintains that ancient Egyptian artifacts belong there and tries to have famous pieces such as the bust of Nefertiti, which is in Berlin, returned, what does this say about the capability of Egyptian museums to adequately look after and repair them?  What do you think?  Should all ancient Egyptian artifacts be returned to Egypt, or should they stay in the museums across the world that currently house them?  Please leave your comments below.

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About Author

Beth Michaels

Beth Michaels attended a private college in Northeast Ohio from which she earned a Bachelor’s degree in German with a minor in French. From there she moved to Germany where she attended the University of Heidelberg for two years. Additional schooling earned her certifications as a foreign language correspondent and state-certified translator. In her professional career, Beth worked for a leading German manufacturer of ophthalmological medical instruments and devices as a quality representative, regulatory affairs manager and internal auditor.