Egypt to begin restoration of King Tut mask after damage, hasty epoxy repair

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CAIRO — The restoration of King Tutankhamun's world-famous golden mask will begin Saturday, over a year after the beard was accidentally broken off and hastily glued back with epoxy, Egypt's state-run news agency said Friday.

A German-Egyptian team will remove the mask from its display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and repair it in another area of the museum, MENA reported.

The 3,300-year-old burial pharaonic mask was discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb along with other artifacts by British archeologists in 1922, sparking worldwide interest in archaeology and ancient Egypt.

The beard became detached during work on the relic's lighting in August 2014 and then was hastily reattached with epoxy.

In a January press conference by Egypt's antiquities ministry, days after the botched reattachment came to light, restoration specialist Christian Eckmann said the epoxy could be removed and the mask properly restored.

Eckmann said the beard had likely loosened over the years and has been detached previously.

The mask is arguably the best-known piece in the museum, one of Cairo's main tourist sites, which was built in 1902 and houses artifacts and mummies of ancient Egyptian rulers.

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