Egyptian museum workers taken to court over King Tut mishap

January 25, 2016  

A botched repair job to the mask of King Tut has caused eight Egyptian museum workers to be taken to court for “gross negligence”, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

The 3,300-year old mask, whose beard was accidentally knocked off and hastily glued on with epoxy in 2014, was scratched and damaged during the amateur repair work, prosecutors said in a statement quoted by AP.

The statement implicated the then-head of the Egyptian Museum and the chief of the restoration department.

“In an attempt to cover up the damage they inflicted, they used sharp instruments such as scalpels and metal tools to remove traces of adhesive on the mask, causing damage and scratches that remain,” the statement charged, citing an investigation.

The eight now face fines and disciplinary measures including dismissal, according to AP.

The mask was put back on display last month after a German-Egyptian team of specialists removed the epoxy and reattached the beard using beeswax, which was used as an adhesive in antiquity.

The mask was discovered in a tomb along with other artifacts by British archeologists in 1922, noted AP, and is one of the world’s most priceless artifacts and the best-known piece in the Egyptian Museum.

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