After learning about King Tut’s revival into the modern world, it was mentioned that his beautiful golden mask has suffered a slight mod. I find it amazing that someone managed to accidentally knock off the chin piece of a thousand year old piece of history. Although it was discussed in class that Carter and Co. were not the carefullest of handlers to the artifacts, the chin piece was definitely still there when it was removed. Only to be put back on with some epoxy glue to make it look like nothing had happened.
Monica Hanna, an archaeologist with the group, Egypt’s Heritage Task Force, and those with her, are looking at the officials in the State run Egyptian Museum in Cairo to blame for the damage done to poor King Tut’s burial mask. Artifacts are taken very seriously in Egypt, and the archaeologists association is taking this baby to court. The damages done to the mask occurred when light repairs were done overhead, and because of the attraction of the King impromptu repairs were done to get it displayed quickly for the tourists. The main problem here is that the workers probably panicked, as the repair was apparently done in front of a crowd where someone explain the repair job as ‘looking slapstick’. Obviously they need to figure out and probably get some procedures for when thousand year old artifacts are accidentally messed up.
The most baffling thing is that the museum director dismissed reports about the ‘alteration’ to the mask, lying to the public. But it was also addressed that the former President was to blame for alienating the public, not connecting them to their heritage, and closing off many of the Egyptian hot-spots to avoid vandalizing. Where the public was starting to believe that the monuments that are connected to their ancestors were for the government and the foreign tourists who come by the thousands to Egypt. Even Egypt’s current minister of antiques denied reports of the artifact being damaged, not bothering to listen to the locals about the damage done, and instead punished them for trying to point out the flaw.
Netizens online are even going as far as to make jokes about the slapstick job done to the mask:
The worst part may be the after shocks of the damage. Artifacts are significantly important to cultures and this one has been used to describe the current happenings in Egypt, “I do not know what to say, but what happened to King Tut’s mask is just a symbol what is happening to Egypt now,” she said. “They claim that they are fixing whereas they are damaging it permanently. I feel more than sad.”
So who’s really to blame for the damage done?