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Friday, June 16, 2017

Textiles to the GEM - Ahram Weekly

Textiles to the GEM

The Grand Egyptian Museum has received textiles belonging to the ancient Egyptian golden boy king Tutankhamun, reports Nevine El-Aref

Egyptian golden boy king Tutankhamun
Nevine El-Aref

After receiving a funerary bed and chariot from the tomb of the ancient Egyptian golden boy king Tutankhamun, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) has this week received three linen items from among the Pharaoh's clothes.

GEM Director Tarek Tawfik told Al-Ahram Weekly that the transportation of Tutankhamun's clothes had come within the framework of an Egyptian-Japanese project between the Ministry of Antiquities and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to pack and transport 71 artefacts now on display at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to their new permanent exhibition spaces in the GEM, which is scheduled for a soft opening in 2018.
Tawfik said that the three newly transported items included the Pharaoh's short linen official costume decorated with goose paintings and ending in a fringe.
Director of first-aid restoration at the GEM Eissa Zidan told the Weekly that the restoration team had carried out first-aid restoration on the items because they had been unearthed in the antechamber of the tomb and discoverer Howard Carter had not consolidated them.
The clothes were cleaned using state-of-the-art techniques and packed using acid-free packing materials due to their fragile conservation condition. They were placed in padded wooden boxes with special materials to absorb vibrations during transportation. Devices to control heat during transportation had been used.

Restorer Najmeddin Morshedi said that all the items would be subjected to restoration in the GEM labs in order to carry out a comprehensive study on them to find out more about their weaving techniques.

"The restoration of the clothes is a real challenge due to their poor conservation condition," he said, adding that one of the problems was dryness. Zidan said the clothes would be re-softened and put on a special mounting especially fabricated to display them.

"All the Tutankhamun artefacts are to be packed and transported to the GEM according to a meticulous schedule until the soft opening of the new museum in 2018," Osama Abul-Kheir, director of the restoration department, told the Weekly.

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