This story is good enough for the movies! Eight Egyptian museum officials are facing heavy fines and disciplinary tribunal for attempting to reattach the gold beard to King Tut’s burial mask after knocking it off. The museum employees made the unfortunate decision to apply insoluble epoxy resin (virtually Super Glue) to the 3300 year old artifact while curious tourists snapped pictures. The accused officials have been sued and are awaiting the legal consequences of their actions.
I fully support the idea of maintaining culture, history and artifacts. Money and effort should go into learning about the past of human civilization. However, I am of the opinion that there are more horrendous crimes being committed in Egypt and around the world than trying to glue a beard back onto a mask. What about the eight Mexican tourists who were killed by Egyptian security forces recently? Are the consequences handed out for that “mistake” as dire as the consequences the museum employees are receiving? Where is the judicial system spending their time and effort?
Let’s keep the museums running and their employees properly trained, but let’s also keep a proper perspective so we don’t get our knickers in a twist when historians and archaeologists make mistakes.