Monday, June 23, 2014

News, Luxor: Egypt’s Antiquities sector denies damage to Tutankhamun statue in Karnak Temple

Egyptian Antiquities Sector head Al-Athary Aly al-Asfar denied Wednesday evening the clais of media reports that a rare Tutankhamun statue at Karnak temple was unintentionally damaged.

State-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported Wednesday that the statue was unintentionally damaged during a restoration process carried out by an Egyptian team of archaeologists. Asfar however said in a statement that the damage dates back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Alternative limestone pieces were used to complete the body of the statue and there are no cracks in the original pieces, Asfar added and that the cracks are in the alternative pieces.

Sector officials are preparing the required studies to re-restore based on the latest technologies. The original part of the statue was made of quartzite including the right leg, small piece of the kilt, upper part of the chest, royal head with crown decorated with feathers on each side, and the bottom of the back column, Asfar noted. 

The pieces added to the body however are made of sandstone and the back of cement. The 15-meter-high sandstone statue of Pharoah Tutankhamun (1334 B.C. – 1325 B.C.) has been under restoration since August 2013, local Luxor tour guide Rena Abu el-Wafa told The Cairo Post.

She said the restoration of the statue seems “unjustified,” adding that it was in a good state of preservation compared to other statues, pillars, and shrines within the Karnak Temples.

“The statue is located nearby the sanctuary of Karnak Temple and represents Tutankhamu seated beside another statue of Goddess Mut, the spouse of God Amun-Ra according to ancient Egyptian mythology,” Wafa added.

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