Conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo admitted that hasty attempts to repair a burial mask of King Tutankhamun caused irreversible damage to the famous relic, according to the Associated Press.
According to reports, the blue and gold braided beard on the mask broke off and, instead of taking the proper measures for the preservation of the piece, the museum had it hastily reattached with epoxy glue.
While three of the museum’s conservators gave slightly differing stories, they all reached the same conclusion: they received orders to quickly fix the damaged mask and, to achieve this quickly, the wrong adhesive was used.
Now the mask shows an obvious gap and a layer of transparent yellow where the repair was made. Additionally, one conservator said they witnessed epoxy drip onto the face of the mask. A colleague then allegedly attempted to scrap the adhesive off, but left obvious scratches on the artifact.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, one conservator said:
“Unfortunately he used a very irreversible material — 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 Tutankhamun’s golden mask.”
Another agreed, adding:
“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.”