Decade-long makeover of King Tut's tomb nearly completed

FILE - This April 1, 2016 file photo shows one of Egypt's famed King Tutankhamun's golden sarcophagus displayed at his tomb in a glass case at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. A nearly decade-long project to better protect and preserve Egypt's legendary tomb of King Tut is nearing completion. The Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles said Tuesday, March 27, 2018, the project has added a filtration system to keep out dust and humidity and a barrier to keep visitors from getting too close to the tomb's wall paintings. The effort was launched in 2009 by the institution, known worldwide for its conservation work, in collaboration with Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil,File)

The Getty Conservation Institute is wrapping up a nearly decade-long project to preserve Egypt's legendary tomb of King Tut

LOS ANGELES — A nearly decade-long makeover of King Tut's tomb aimed at preserving one of Egypt's most important archaeological sites and also one of its most popular tourist attractions is close to complete, the Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles said Tuesday.

The project has added a filtration system to keep out dust, humidity and carbon dioxide and a barrier to keep visitors from continuing to damage the tomb's elaborate wall paintings. Other amenities include walkways and a viewing platform.

New lights are also scheduled to be installed in the fall in the tomb of Tutankhamun, the legendary boy king who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. His mummified body remains on display in an oxygen-free case.

The project was launched in 2009 by the Los Angeles institute, known worldwide for its conservation work, in collaboration with Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.

"This project greatly expanded our understanding of one of the best known and significant sites from antiquity, and the methodology used can serve as a model for similar sites," Tim Whalen, the John E. and Louise Bryson director of the institute, said in a statement.

Tutankhamun, just a child when he assumed the throne, was about 19 when he died.

His tomb, discovered in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter, was hidden for millennia by flood debris that preserved it intact and protected it from tomb raiders.

Over the years humidity and dust carried in by visitors have caused damage, as have some visitors who scratched the wall paintings.

"Humidity promotes microbiological growth and may also physically stress the wall paintings, while carbon dioxide creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for visitors themselves," said Neville Agnew, the institute's senior principal project specialist.

He added: "But perhaps even more harmful has been the physical damage to the wall paintings. Careful examination showed an accumulation of scratches and abrasion in areas close to where visitors and film crews have access within the tomb's tight space."

Conservationists also studied mysterious brown spots on some of the paintings that have baffled experts for years. They concluded they were caused by microorganisms that have since died and are causing no further damage.

They decided to leave the spots there because they have penetrated into the paint layers and removing them would cause more damage.

___

This version corrects Tut's full name to Tutankhamun not Tutankhamen.

More Travel News

Hilfiger turns Fashion Week into a carnival _ no, a real one

Sep 10, 2016

Designer Tommy Hilfiger, known for his lavishly produced fashion shows, pulled out all the stops with a carnival-style show at Manhattan's South Street Seaport

'Trombone Shorty,' 4 others receive $250,000 Heinz Awards

Sep 14, 2016

A musician known for his work to preserve the musical heritage of New Orleans and a civil rights attorney who has written about the mass incarceration of blacks in America are among five people being honored by the Heinz Family Foundation

Japan naming 88 manga, animation landmarks to boost tourism

Sep 17, 2016

Eighty-eight places in Japan are going to be designated "animation spots" to encourage tourism _ using train stations, school campuses, rural shrines and other fairly everyday places where popular "manga" characters are depicted

To travel is to live. Unearth your next travel destination here with The Travel Trooper. We love what we do and looking forward to more #travelsquad joining us in this journey.

Contact us: sales@thetraveltrooper.com