Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Story of Tutankhamun mask (8): The ministry of antiquities will not use laser to remove the epoxy from Tutankhamun's mask

Rumours abound about the fate and future of the boy-king's beard- though the ministry of antiquities assured the international press that it will by experts. Written by / Nevine El-Aref

The spell of the boy king Tutankhamun continues. Some newspapers reported that the ministry of antiquities is to use laser to remove the epoxy resin used to glue the beard to the king's funerary mask to fix botched restoration work previously carried out.

In a statement the minister of antiquities, Mamdouh Eldamaty, asserted that what has been reported in newspapers is unfounded and that the rumours are fake.

He told Ahram Online that there is now a scientific committee that includes restorers, natural scientists and archaeologists who are discussing several conservation plans in which they will choose the most likely method of success to remove the epoxy and properly restore the mask.

"When the committee approves one of the suggested restoration methods it would be implemented first in a laboratory on a modern sample made of similar material in order to inspect the results before its implementation on the authentic mask," Eldamaty pointed out, asking all reporters to be sure of the information they receive before publishing it. "The ministry is keen on showing the whole truth before the public," Eldamaty concluded.

In January, the boy king Tutankhamun caught the headlines of newspapers worldwide. It was reported that the blue and gold beard of the mask was broken during a cleaning process at the Egyptian Museum and that conservators hurriedly glued the beard back on with epoxy resin, damaging the artefact.

To stop the commotion that was created by the rumours, Eldamaty organised an international press conference in collaboration with a German expert in metal restoration at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square and asserted that the mask is not in danger and is in good condition. A scientific committee was then established to create an optimal conservation plan for the mask

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