Egypt presented Sunday the golden sarcophagus of Tutankhamun, restoration for the first time since its discovery in 1922.
An eight-month process
The restoration work began in mid-July after the sarcophagus was moved from the Valley of Kings to Luxor, in the south of the country, at the Grand Museum of Egypt in Cairo. "We are showing you a unique historical object, not only for Egypt but for the world," said Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Enany, at a press conference in the Great Museum of Egypt, near the pyramids from Giza.
The sarcophagus of the young pharaoh will be exhibited with other objects related to Tutankhamun at the end of 2020, when this new gigantic museum will be open to the public. The restoration must take eight months.
Cracks on the lid and base
The wooden sarcophagus, gilded on the outside, measures 2.23 meters and is decorated with a portrait of the young king bearing the pharaonic symbols, the scepter and the flagellum, according to the Ministry of Antiquities. In the last century, cracks have appeared "in the layers of gilded plaster, particularly those of the lid and the base," according to the ministry.
Mounted on the throne around 1333 BC, Tutankhamun is probably the most famous pharaoh in history because of the incredible discovery of his tomb, intact, in the valley of kings in 1922 by the British archaeologist Howard Carter. Son of the pharaoh Akhenaten, husband of the legendary Queen Nefertiti, "the pharaoh child" would have come to power at the age of nine and died ten years later of malaria combined with a bone disease.
In early July, Egypt asked Interpol to locate a carved portrait of Tutankhamun dating back 3,000 years, sold in London for nearly 5.3 million euros, despite opposition from Cairo.