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After museum officials alleged the pharaoh’s beard was knocked off and quickly glued back on, a task force is planning to file charges.
An archaeologist has confirmed damage to the mask after a visit to the museum.
The New York Times reports archaeologists plan to file charges against Egyptian Museum officials. In a series of tweets, Monica Hanna wrote Egypt’s Heritage Task Force will take evidence to the public prosecutor.
4. The task force also released an image and statement about the damage on its Facebook page.
The statement reads:
The Egypt’s Heritage Task force denounces the faulty conservation procedures carried out on the mask of Tutankhamun, and will take due legal steps to hold officials accountable of such a crime.
6. Museum employees in Cairo claimed that Tutankhamun’s mask was damaged and hurriedly repaired, The Guardian reported.
Note: Images were taken before the alleged damage.
During routine maintenance to the Egyptian Museum exhibit, someone allegedly broke off the braided beard by accident and gave the pharaoh an instant shave. The mask is over 3,300 years old.
Though reports vary, conservators also claim that after using epoxy to glue it back on, it was scraped off with a spatula, leaving scratches, according to the AP. “The problem was that they tried to fix it in half an hour and it should have taken them days,” an unnamed official told The Guardian, requesting anonymity to protect his job.
7. The museum’s director and conservation department vehemently deny allegations of a cover-up.
The head of the department, Elham Abdelrahman, told The Guardian that the issue existed before the director, Mahmoud el-Halwagy, even began working there: Conservators were apparently worried that King Tut’s beard was a bit too loose and applied an approved glue — and that adhesive is just too visible.
She also said that if that had happened, it would have been taken very seriously and reported. Currently an expert committee is reviewing the claims and will report its findings at an undetermined date.
King Tut’s resting place was discovered in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt’s most famous collection of fancy tombs. Tutankhamun is believed to have died at 19, most likely due to his genetic impairments, not a chariot accident as previously theorized, a 2010 study shows.
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