Glue Glob Taints Tut

Cairo -- Amateur restoration using inappropriate epoxy glue has defaced one of the world's most iconic works of art.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network are always dismayed to learn of shoddy restoration to important works.

The mask of King Tutankhamen is now set to undergo assessment. The crude repair holding the narrow, blue and gold beard, on the famous mask, must be removed and reattached.

According to reports on the Arabic news site Al Araby Al Jadeed, the braided beard which juts forward, came detached from the 3,500-year-old mask during a routine cleaning accident which took place last October, at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Conflicting accounts of how this came about are going viral among museum circles. However conservators cited by Associated Press have stated that "the use of epoxy on such a priceless artifact was thoughtlessly inappropriate and has irreparably damaged the centerpiece of Egypt's pharaonic heritage, leaving a visible gap full of yellowish dried adhesive between the boy-king's chin and his braided beard".

Dr. Gharib Sonbol is the director of the Central Repair and Restoration Administration at the Egyptian Museum.

In a telephone interview he defended the repair job on the mask and insisted the museum handled the situation properly. "There are different kinds of epoxy glues," Sonbol told CBS News. "We used an epoxy that was appropriate for the mask."

The incident came to light earlier this week when newspapers in Egypt reported that a repair performed hastily at the request of government officials resulted in a backlash, which has scandalized the Museum.

The mask is the Pièce de résistance of the Egyptian Museum's collection which generates much needed tourism revenue for the country.

The death mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen is made of gold inlaid with colored glass and semiprecious stone.

The mask comes from the innermost mummy case in the pharaoh’s tomb, and stands 54 cm (21 in) high.

The emblems on the forehead (vulture and cobra) and on the shoulders (falcon heads) were symbols of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt and of divine authority. The vulture Nekhbet and the cobra Wadjet protected the pharaoh.

The Egyptian vulture is a tool-using bird. Egyptian vultures are specialists in egg-eating. They are among the only known birds in the world to use stones as tools. They will repeatedly strike at an abandoned ostrich egg with stones, then use their beak to enlarge the hole and penetrate membrane. Then it feasts on the oozing interior of the egg. In ancient Egypt the vulture is considered to be nearer to God who is believed to reside above the sky.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cobra and used it as a symbol on the crown of the pharaohs. It is used as a protective symbol, the Egyptians believed that the cobra would spit fire at any approaching enemies. It is also called an asp.

The incident brings back memories of the The Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) in the Sanctuary of Mercy church in Borja, Zaragoza.

The painting became an Internet phenomenon in August 2012 when Cecilia Giménez, an 80-year-old amateur artist living locally, painted over the fresco in an attempt to restore it. The result resembled a "crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic".

Today's homepage Featured Art Video recaps this ridiculous restoration.