First there was Beast Jesus. Now King Tut.
The Internet went bananas this week when it was discovered that a rushed restoration job on King Tutankhamun's funerary mask at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo left the 3,000-year-old relic bearing traces of glue.
The beard portion of Tut's mask had come off and was reattached using what was likely an epoxy, according to the Arabic news site Al Araby Al Jadeed, leaving a layer of glue on the figure's chin. This was confirmed by a BBC reporter, who saw the mask and says that there is indeed glue visible. Epoxies are rarely used in museum conservation work because they are irreversible, reports Smithsonian.com.
It is unclear why the beard portion came off or was removed and who is responsible for the botched repair. But some experts have surmised that the rushed job was to get the object, which is very popular with tourists, back on display.
The whole thing brought to mind the "King Tut" ditty performed by Steve Martin on "Saturday Night Live" in 1978, during his wild and crazy days. One thing most people don't realize is that the song was about "The Treasures of Tutankhamun" exhibition, which was then making its way around the world. (The song makes me realize that comedians don't write enough songs about art exhibitions.)
In one line, Martin sings, "He gave his life for tourism."
Well, it wasn't quite his life. It was just a beard.
h/t Zach Alan (must be signed into Facebook).
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