3,300-year-old mask of King Tut needs its beard fixed German restorers Christian Eckmann, right, and Katja Broschat examine the famed golden mask of King Tutankhamun as an Egyptian-German team begins restoration work over a year after the beard was accidentally broken off and hastily glued back with epoxy, at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
3,300-year-old mask of King Tut needs its beard fixed
Lexile

Restorers have put their work on the famed golden burial mask of King Tutankhamun on display in Cairo.  This comes over a year after the beard was accidentally knocked off and glued back on with epoxy.
 
A German-Egyptian team of experts showed off the mask Oct. 20 in a laboratory in the Egyptian Museum. The experts described plans for how the epoxy will be scraped off. The beard will be carefully removed before being reattached. The repair method will be determined by a joint scientific committee.
 
Christian Eckmann, the lead restoration specialist, said the work should take a month or two. It will depend on how long it takes to remove the beard. The beard will be attached after research into how the mask and beard attachment were originally made and joined.
 
"We have some uncertainties now. We don't know how deep the glue went inside the beard. And so we don't know how long it will take to remove the beard," he said on the sidelines of a news conference. The conference was held with Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty and Tarek Tawfik, director-general of the still-under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, near the pyramids.
 
"We try to make all the work by mechanical means ... we use wooden sticks which work quite well at the moment.  Then there is another strategy we could implement, slightly warming up the glue," he said. "It's unfortunately epoxy resin, which is not soluble."
 
A museum employee knocked the beard off during work on the relic's lighting in August 2014 and it was hastily reattached with epoxy. When the error was revealed in January, the Antiquities Ministry called a press conference. Eckmann said he and an Egyptian team could fix the epoxy-job and that permanent damage can be avoided.
 
The 3,300-year-old pharaonic mask was discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb along with other artifacts by British archeologists in 1922 and the discovery sparked worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient Egypt.
 
It is arguably the best-known piece in the museum, which is one of Cairo's main tourist sites and was built in 1902. The museum houses ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies.
 
Eckmann said that during the restoration, experts would conduct a detailed study of the mask's ancient manufacture technique that had not been done previously. The goal is to determine what materials and techniques were used.
 
"We are using this chance to gain new information about the manufacture," he said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why can't experts be certain about all aspects of the repair?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (19)
  • allyb-ver
    10/29/2015 - 08:46 p.m.

    This article is about king tuts mask need to be fixed after 3,300 years. I am so amazed that after so long they have just done little work to the mask. This article I found very I trusting and liked it a lot.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    10/29/2015 - 09:10 p.m.

    King Tut's old golden mask has broken off accidentally and now the people that are working on it are trying to glue it back together. While they are trying to glue it, they are discovering that the if the mask was really his or if it was someone else's mask. King tut is dead and the old and valuable golden mask is getting repaired for the stupid accident.

  • michaely-6-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:34 p.m.

    Experts cant be certain about the aspects of the repair because the mask was already in bad shape and the beard was accidentally knocked off and glued back on with epoxy. I think this is unique how they didn't see what condition it was in. But they didn't record the damage, so that is there faults for not being able to tell the damage of the mask. Also they should protect the mask better so it can never happen again.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/29/2015 - 09:46 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing that the burial mask of King Tutankhamun was placed on display in the museum in Cairo. It is a great piece of artifact. Unfortunately, the beard of the burial mask was accidentally knocked off. Now, a German-Egyptian team is fixing and repairing the beard. They use a special type of glue to put the beard back. They also use a special technique and strategy that will help to put the beard back on but remove the remains of the special type of glue. I hope that the people will fix it well and make this burial mask look perfect.

  • luket-4-bar
    10/30/2015 - 12:30 a.m.

    Experts can't be certain about the quality of the repair because they can't actually be precise when the mask had hardly been touched previous to the event. I thought this article was funny because i think its good to see even people as careful as museum staff can make mistakes.

  • nicolea-6-bar
    10/30/2015 - 02:56 a.m.

    These scientific experts can't be certain on all the aspects in repairing the beard on the burial mask of King Tut, because as Cristian Ekmann said, many uncertainties come into place. Uncertainties, such as, "We don't know how deep the glue went inside the beard, and so we don't know how long it will take to remove the beard." (paragraph 4) I thought this article was interesting because, just last year we learned about King Tut and I found it interesting that his mask was being repaired.

  • annabel1226-yyca
    10/30/2015 - 07:24 p.m.

    It must cost all lot of money to fix that thing. The employee should pay for it because he/she dropped it. That mask is really old, it is almost 3,000 years old. So, can't the people look inside the mummy? I think they will be horrified to see a dead person. Who is inside the mask? What's his name or she? If I were them I would ask the scientists to make a really super super glue. So, it will glue well. But, why did the mustache or that part fell out? Why can't it be somewhere else? Well, I hope that part fix and no one makes that mistake again.

  • jasmineh1-wes
    11/02/2015 - 12:21 p.m.

    They can't be certain because they don't know how long it will take to fix the beard.

  • andrewb-wes
    11/02/2015 - 12:28 p.m.

    The article is about King Tuts mask needs to be fixed after 3,300 years. The Experts can be certain abought all the aspects because they think the epoxy got in side the beard.

  • josuep-sch
    11/03/2015 - 08:13 a.m.

    Leave it how it is history is history you cant change that!

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