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Tutankhamun returns -- without golden mask

LONDON (Reuters) - Treasures from the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun are to return to the country for the first time in 35 years.

Tutankhamun's canopic chest in an undated photo courtesy of The Field Museum in Chicago. Treasures from the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh are to return to the country for the first time in 35 years. But the famous golden funerary mask which so impressed the public at the last such exhibition is now too delicate to travel and will not be part of the display. REUTERS/The Field Museum/Handout

His golden royal crown will be among more than 130 exhibits at the O2 centre, the former Millennium Dome, in November.

But the famous golden funerary mask which so impressed the public at the last such exhibition in London in 1972 is now too delicate to travel and will not be part of the display.

The boy king has fascinated experts and the general public ever since his intact tomb was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

More than 120,000 tickets have already been reserved for the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs” exhibition.

It has been a sell-out during its tour of four major American cities, attracting more than three million visitors.

Mystery has always surrounded the teenage pharaoh, with speculation surrounding the cause of his death and a possible curse on those connected with his tomb’s excavation.

“Since the discovery of his tomb, Tutankhamun has captured the hearts of people around the world,” said Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“Buried with him were treasures beyond the imagination, giving us a glittering glimpse into the past.”

Among items on show from Tutankhamun’s Valley of the Kings tomb will be one of the gold and precious stone-inlaid canopic coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs.

Artefacts from other tombs in the valley and additional sites will be exhibited, including objects from the royal graves of Yuya and Tuyu, the great-grandparents of Tutankhamun.

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