This week brought distressing news for one 3000-year-old beard:
The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of pharaoh Tutankhamun has been hastily glued back on after it was damaged, [Egyptian Museum in Cairo] employees say. … It is not clear whether the mask was damaged during cleaning or if the beard was removed because it was loose.
Harriet Alexander has more:
On Thursday curators admitted that they had botched the restoration efforts.
“Unfortunately [the culprit] used a very irreversible material,” one curator told the AP news agency. “Epoxy has a very high property for attaching, and is used on metal or stone – but I think it wasn’t suitable for an outstanding object like Tutankhamen’s golden mask. “The mask should have been taken to the conservation lab but they were in a rush to get it displayed quickly again and used this quick drying, irreversible material.”
The conservator said there is now a visible gap between the face and the beard. “Now you can see a layer of transparent yellow.”
An investigation is underway. Peruse previous Beards Of The Week here.
(Image of death mask of Tutankhamun by Flickr user v.williams46)