1. The coffin is made of gilded wood with silver handles. L. 223.5cm. W. 83.8cm. H. 105.5cm.

Tutankhamun goes for a makeover

For the first time since its discovery by Howard Carter in Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, the gilded coffin of the boy king (1) is being restored. For this reason it has been transported to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) where the work will be done in preparation for its display there, when the GEM opens next year.

Dr Eissa Zidan, Head of the First Aid Restoration and Transportation of Antiquities at the GEM, says that the restoration work will take about eight months because 'the coffin has suffered a lot of damage, including cracks in the golden layers of plaster and a general weakness in all golden layers.' Before sending the coffin to the GEM, a complete and detailed report on its condition was completed Once it has been restored, the coffin will be exhibited among the king's other 'wonderful things' in the brand new Tutankhamun Galleries at the GEM, along with all his other golden coffins that will be transferred from the old Egyptian Museum in Cairo, explains Dr Al-Tayeb Abbas, Director General of Antiquities at the GEM.

So, will this be the end of the legendary Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which was founded in 1902? Many of its exhibits have already been moved to the vast modern Grand Egyptian Museum, which promises visitors a state-of-the-art 'submersion' in all things ancient Egyptian and which is already said to have cost $1billion. And the old museum will not onlys lose its biggest draw, the magnificent Tutankhamun collection, but most of its mummies will also soon move to another new competitor, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, which partially opened in 2017.


Lindsay Fulcher