King Tut's Face on Display
By Cynthia Johnston
LUXOR, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt put the mummy of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun on display in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Sunday, giving visitors their first chance to see the face of a ruler who died more than 3,000 years ago.
In the dimly lit burial chamber workmen removed the gilded lid of Tutankhamun's mummy case and then hoisted the padded box containing the mummy out of the stone sarcophagus where it has lain for most of the time since Tutankhamun's early death.
They then moved it to a climate-controlled acrylic glass showcase in the tomb's antechamber and sealed the cover. His wizened face is visible at one end, a white linen cloth covers his body and his blackened feet protrude at the other end.
The mummy's face has high cheekbones and cracked and blackened skin with an intact nose.
Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian government's chief archaeologist and a passionate promoter of ancient Egypt, supervised the operation, broadcast live on some television channels.
"The face of Tutankhamun is different from the face of any king at the Cairo Museum," Hawass told reporters.
"He has these beautiful buck teeth and ... the tourists will see a little bit of a smile on the face of the golden boy," he added. "This will ... make the golden boy live forever."
The mummy will be visible to the general public from Monday.
The salvation of pharaoh's body
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"This day shall we save thee in thy body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee but verily, many among mankind are heedless of our signs."
[Qur'an, Surah Yunus, 10:92]