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Restoration experts set to fix Tutankhamun’s golden mask by the end of the year

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Restoration experts aim to have removed a crust of dried glue from the beard of boy pharaoh Tutankhamun’s priceless golden mask by the end of the year, a German specialist said Tuesday.

The beard fell from the mask in an August 2014 accident at the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo, leading to its botched repair by employees.

The intricate operation “might be finished by end of this year or say in two months”, Christian Eckmann, a specialist in restoration work on antiquities in glass and metal told reporters at a press conference held at the museum.

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“We have not yet taken off the beard,” he said.

The funerary mask is being restored in a room at the museum, and the golden relic with the beard still attached to it was shown to journalists as Eckmann’s team worked.

The beard had fallen off when the mask was removed to repair the lighting of its display case.

In a hurried attempt to fix the beard, employees used too much epoxy glue to fix the relic, leaving a crust of the chemical behind.

Eckmann, who said on October 10 when the repairs started that the damage was reversible, said Tuesday that the restoration work would be carried out in two stages.

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The beard would be detached and re-attached, followed by “a comprehensive study of the material used to manufacture” the mask.

The restoration work is being done manually, with the use of thin “wooden sticks” to remove the crust of dried glue, he said.

The death mask of the legendary boy king is one of the crown jewels of the museum, which also displays hundreds of relics from Tutankhamun’s treasures, found in 1922 along with the pharaoh’s mummy in the temple city of Luxor.

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Tutankhamun, who died aged 19 in 1324 BC after a reign of nine years, is best known for the treasures found in his burial chamber, including the 11-kilogram (25-pound) solid gold funerary mask encrusted with lapis lazuli and other semi-precious stones.


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COVID-19

‘Do your part’: WWII film ‘Greyhound’ teaches virus lesson, says Hanks

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Tom Hanks is "heartbroken" that his World War II thriller must skip the big screen due to the pandemic -- but hopes it can still teach audiences at home a thing or two about acting decently in a global crisis.

"Greyhound," out on Apple TV+ Friday, was written by and stars Hanks as a rookie captain escorting a convoy of Allied ships as they cross the freezing North Atlantic, hounded by Nazi U-boats.

The movie follows a destroyer's terrified young crew crossing the treacherous ocean beyond the range of air cover, bound together in life-and-death responsibility for protecting the fleet and each other.

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Johnny Depp libel trial set to start in London

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A libel trial was due to begin on Tuesday between Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and a British tabloid newspaper over claims that he was violent to his former wife, Amber Heard.

Depp, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun, and its executive editor Dan Wootton for an April 2018 article which referred to him as a "wife beater".

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star strenuously denies the accusation.

The case, which was delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak, will be heard over 15 days at the High Court in London.

The couple settled a divorce out of court in 2017. She donated a settlement of $7 million (£5.6 million, 6.2 million euros) to charity.

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2020 Election

Trump is betting on reckless approach to win in November

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On the Fourth of July, a day meant to celebrate American independence, Donald Trump once again focused on creating a racist spectacle. Despite concerns about spreading the coronavirus and starting wildfires, Trump insisted on having a fireworks-heavy celebration at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, which was clearly a campaign rally no matter how much the taxpayers were bilked for it. Of course, the president's speech was pure culture-war vitriol, complete with classic Trumpian projection, this time when he called anti-racist activists "fascists," an extraordinary word choice that obviously better suits him.

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