Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Luc Buergin, the publisher of Mysteries Magazin in Switzerland, sent me this video. Persist - watch it all!  I promise you it's unqiue and I won't spoil the surprise.  (These days one cannot be certain anything is genuine, but the amateur video footage in the second half looks genuine to me.)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was waiting for someone in the crowd to trip the man carrying it.

John Bright said...

What was it that John McKenroe used to say?
"You cannot be serious!"
If it is, well what can you say?
"Help!"

Geoff Carter said...

Well, at least it's not on the burgeoning list of missing artifacts!

I used to clean cases in Colchester Museum - in the morning before the public got there.

John Bright said...

@Geoff: I used to work in the basement library at SOAS when I left school. In its depths was an ancient big walk in safe containing, well, lots of papers and books (!). They were all pretty valuable and the safe was fireproof and had double locks and an alarm. You had to sign a book for the keys both when you collected and returned them. If you went in there, there had to be two of you and one stayed on the outside.... just in case the door shut and jammed!!! It seems a far cry from what the video shows.

Ken said...

I would have thought it was heavier than that. *shrug*

Stephanie said...

Very interesting.
I was waiting for someone to drop it on the floor at any moment or for the mask to fall off the table it was put on.

Luckily that didn`t happen.

Roger Hubert said...

Now we know why there are always fingerprints inside the glass cases in Cairo museum. But watch in video as hands, chins, and even a face cheek (at minute 3:38), make contact to gold mask. No white gloves anywhere, and palms half way off the token cloths used to carry it. When the gold mask is set down outside its case on the table, a hand rests atop the mask (minute 2:44). Mask then does a slight wobble to its left( about minute 2:52) and no one there to catch if it toppled! And no museum would ever perform any such task during hours of public crowded around! No dusting of mask done here, nor apparent glass-cleaning either. Maybe just changing a light-bulb?
The mask is not heavy(about 24 pounds). When on first tours way back in the early 1960's in USA it was handled with white gloves. Always two-man teams to hold the gold mask at all times, and whom practiced each movement before holding gold mask. They changed white gloves each time it was touched. Face masks worn by anyone moving it, too. It was never allowed to be carried higher than 3-4 inches above a padded platform, and it remained enclosed in a framework to protect it until positioned for exhibit. But not in Cairo?
Jaw-dropping to see the casual handling of the mask at the mother museum. Just the melt value of the gold should have an armed platoon on hand. The video does not look fake, but wish it were. I believe there is a newer case for Tutankhamun's gold mask since this video, but it speaks mountains about security standards and handling of artifacts at the Cairo museum. Let's hope this awakened soul of Egypt brings prideful state-of-the-industry care and security to the cultural treasures for this great museum to come forward, too.

Geoff Carter said...

@John Bright
I bet the contents of the SOAS safe was far more interesting than the cases in Colchester Museum. [I've nothing against Roman pottery . . . ]

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