tut-tabTutankhamun’s tomb lasted undisturbed for thousands of years, but after mere decades of constant visitors the most famous burial site in the world is on the endangered list. 

It would seem we have found the infamous Curse of King Tut, and it is us…

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has entered into a partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute to implement some much-needed restoration and preservation work on the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62).  According to an Associated Press article, King Tut’s tomb set for 5 year renovation project [story no longer online], the venture was prompted by brown moisture spots on the walls, damage which has been exacerbated by the humidity from the thousands of visitors that crowd into the rather confined space every month.


Humidity from visitors threatens to ruin the painted walls of King Tut’s tomb (Photo by Hajor)

The Getty Conservation Institute has a long history of collaborating with the SCA in the preservation of everything from tombs to the mummies they contain.  According to an article by France 24, King Tut’s tomb to get a facelift, the paintings which adorn the tomb’s walls will receive special attention.  “I am happy that Getty will look at the tomb and preserve its beautiful scenes,” stated Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of the SCA (Source).

Dr. Hawass has made site preservation and conservation a priority and his recent appointment as Vice Minister of Culture will only help further that goal.  Dr. Hawass has announced he also intends to continue his post at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which he had previously planned to vacate in accordance with Egyptian law.  His term was set to expire in the spring of 2010.

As an aside, the AP article cites the 2005 CT scan done of Tutankhamun’s mummy, stating “The results ruled out that Tut was violently murdered — but stopped short of definitively concluding how he died around 1323 B.C.”  Dr. Hawass promised an audience at Butler University’s Clowes Hall on August 7, 2009, that the exact cause of Tut’s death would be revealed “in one month.”

Amateur and professional Egyptologists alike patiently await further news.


Copyright by Keith Payne, 2009.  All rights reserved.

Photographs “Egypt.KV62.01.jpg” by Hajor, and “Tomb of Tutankhamun sign.jpg” by Joshdboz are provided courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of those files under the conditions that you appropriately attribute them, and that you distribute them only under a license identical to this one. Official license 


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 8:20 am and is filed under New Kingdom, Egypt in the News, Tombs, Valley of the Kings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far

Trish Holman

Can anyone tell me when this restoration is going to start. We were planning on visiting Luxor next October 2010.

November 16th, 2009 at 8:54 am

Hi Trish,

As I am sure you have also discovered, no place seems to give a detailed schedule of when work is supposed to begin, when the tomb will be closed to the public, when it will reopen, and so forth. Most articles give basically the same story.

I have an email in (have for several days now) to the Getty Conservation Institute, but they have yet to get back to me. If I don’t hear from them by this Friday, I will place a call to them.

Keep checking back! As soon as I have your answer it will be posted here! And thank you for participating here!

November 18th, 2009 at 12:22 am

Hi again, Trish!

Well, no response from the Getty Conservation Institute, but thankfully we have this piece from the Cruise Critic: Ta Ta to Tut? King’s Tomb to Close for Five Years.

According to the article King Tut’s Tomb will be closed to the public beginning in May of 2010. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news! But the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo still houses all of those lovely artifacts from KV62, and there are certainly plenty of very nice tombs in the Valley of the Kings, The Valley of the Queens, and the Tombs of the Nobles to visit.

November 18th, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I spoke too soon! The Getty Conservation Institute did reply, I just hadn’t gotten that far down in my email before writting the previous post.

From the GCI:

Hi, Keith –

Thanks for your inquiry. It’s unclear at this time when exactly the tomb will be closed. That decision is really up to the Supreme Council of Antiquities!

Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.


So I don’t know if that means Cruise Critic made an educated guess at the closing date, of if it means they have better sources than the Getty Conservation Institute themselves.

If you know Egypt, then you know that the latter is as likely as the former!

November 18th, 2009 at 10:15 pm

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