The press is full today with news of the seemingly botched repair of the beard on the burial mask of King Tutankhamen, the boy Pharaoh who ruled Egypt from 1332 to 1323 BC.

The burial mask of King Tutankhamun

It seems that the beard, having fallen off, was re-affixed with an epoxy adhesive (probably the quick cure “5 minute” stuff which you find in DIY shops). The  experts and conservationists are despairing over the result, which is both highly visible and very difficult to undo.

Epoxy adhesive is visible in the bondline

Now, not being an egyptologist, I don’t know how readily removable you would want this beard to be. My guess is that if you wanted a very secure bond, than an epoxy adhesive would indeed be a good choice to consider. However, I would be looking at something like our Opti-tec 5012, a two component, low viscosity epoxy adhesive with very high optical clarity. Opti-tec 5012 can be used for the repair of relics and artefacts where the bondline must be as invisible as possible. It is quite low viscosity, which means it wicks well into gaps and leaves a very thin bondline. If you need to fill gaps, you might consider our Opti-tec 5013, which has a medium viscosity, fast cure and shares the optical clarity of Opti-tec 5012.

The adhesive on the Pharaoh’s beard has been applied clumsily and to excess; who hasn’t done the same thing with DIY repairs at home? This does remind us that in a controlled production process, adhesive application and dispensing needs to be under control – we’d be happy to talk to you about this as well.