Monday, December 1, 2014

News: Reports Tutankhamen mask damaged false - antiquities minister

Funerary Mask of King Tutankhamen
CAIRO: Egyptian Museum Director Mahmoud al-Halwagy Wednesday denied media reports that Tutankhamen’s golden mask, the most famous icon of ancient Egypt, was unintentionally damaged during a restoration process, according to the Antiquities Ministry’s Facebook page.

It was previously reported that in October, several archaeological conservators at the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum submitted an urgent memorandum to Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty demanding “immediate investigations regarding the odd appearance of the mask after the restoration work it encountered in August,” Al-Watan reported Friday.

Misplacement of the ceremonial beard with spots of adhesive on the neck of the mask, scratches in the surface of the mask’s right cheekbone and a reported “unusual luminosity” of the artifact as a whole are among the concerns raised in the memorandum, according to Al-Watan.

“The mask is in good condition and the beard has been attached properly. It is obvious by comparing the photos of the mask before and after the restoration,” said Halwagy, adding that the adhesives at the beard of the mask were left during earlier restoration work.

In an interview aired on ONTV Thursday, Damaty denied receiving any memorandum regarding the issue. He blamed Liliane Daoud, the anchor of the Sora al-Kamela TV show in particular, and media outlets in general for “broadcasting reports of an unknown source.”

“I was in the Egyptian Museum last week and I didn’t notice any damage or misplacement of the beard,” said Damaty while mocking Daoud’s reporting. “It is interesting to know that the conservators have submitted the memorandum to the media outlets, not to the Antiquities Ministry.”

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