File - The mask of King Tutankhamun at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, July 1996.
AP Photo/Mohamed El-Dakhakhny
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The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed Pharaoh Tutankhamun was hastily glued back on with epoxy, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning, conservators at Cairo's Egyptian Museum said Wednesday.Three of the museum's conservators reached by telephone gave differing accounts of when the incident occurred last year, and whether the beard was knocked off by accident while the mask's case was being cleaned, or was removed because it was loose.The conservator said that the mask now shows a gap between the face and the beard, whereas before it was directly attached.Another museum conservator, who was present at the time of the repair, said that epoxy had dried on the face of the boy king's mask and that a colleague used a spatula to remove it, leaving scratches.
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