Tutankhamun’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.
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