At team of archaeologists are diligently working on restoring Tutankhamun's sarcophagus, putting their work-in-progress on display in Cairo. It's the first restoration of the coffin since it was discovered in 1922.
Egypt put the famed coffin of King Tutankhamun on display in Cairo on Sunday, showing off the first-ever restoration of the gold-covered sarcophagus.
"We are showing you a unique historical artifact, not just for Egypt but for the world," Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told a press conference at the new Grand Egyptian Museum.
Restoration work on the young pharaoh's three-layered coffin began in mid-July and is expected to take around eight months to complete.
The minister said the process to restore the outermost gilded wooden coffin will take the longest because "the state of conservation is very fragile, as it was never restored."
In the last 100 years, the gilded layers of plaster on the lid and the base of the coffin began to crack.
Prized artifact of new museum
The sarcophagus was transferred to the museum after being removed from the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, in southern Egypt.
British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun's tomb in near Luxor in 1922. It remains one of the most well-preserved relics from the Ancient Egyptian era.
The sarcophagus will be displayed along with other treasures and artifacts in the tomb at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which overlooks the famous Giza Pyramids.
Tutankhamun ascended the throne when he was 9-years-old and ruled until his death at age 18 or 19.
The young king's world famous burial mask — made of solid gold and encrusted with semi-precious stones — was restored in recent years after workers at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo broke the mask's beard in 2014 and tried to fix it with epoxy glue.
rs/jlw (AP, AFP)