4,000-year-old mummy to go back on display after evading crystal death

By Culture24 Reporter | 24 March 2014

Expert conservation work has been carried out on an Egyptian mummy given to Warrington Museum and Art Gallery more than 100 years ago

A photo of an Egyptian mummy
Conservator Tracey Seddon takes a look at the former tomb of Pa-ikh-mennu in Warrington© Courtesy Warrington Museum and Art Gallery
A 4,000-year-old mummy case, attacked by a mysterious surface growth of white crystals more than a century after being gifted to Cheshire by a party returning from Egypt, will go back on show in Warrington thanks to the skilful handiwork of an expert from National Museums Liverpool.

A photo of an egyptian mummy against a purple background
© Courtesy Warrington Museum and Art Gallery
Partly recycled from an earlier coffin due to a scarcity of wood in Egypt, the tomb once held the body of Pa-ikh-mennu, a man who worked at the temple of Amun in Thebe in modern Luxor. It was given to the museum by the Egypt Exploration Society in 1905, but has suffered from loose paint as well as the unusual invasion.

“The crystals were developing on areas of restoration carried out 30-40 years ago,” says conservator Tracey Seddon.

“They were causing the paint to crumble and lift.

“Fortunately the Ancient Egyptian paintwork was spared, but the rot was disfiguring the coffin and threatening to damage the artwork of the ancient craftsmen.”

A thin adhesive solution should prevent further loss. Patches have been attended to with archival quality paint, although curators decided against reapplying lost areas of the paint scheme, which they felt could have been “misleading” for visitors and scholars.

The mummy is expected to return to its display case by the beginning of April.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A photo of a display case containing an egyptian mummy inside a museum of curiosities
© Courtesy Warrington Museum and Art Gallery
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I think that the white cristals are a cause of crafts treatment!
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