Henkel’s hotmelt restores the boy king’s mask

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Henkel doesn’t just manufacture and supply adhesives, it also uses its knowledge to create the very best bonding product for the job. Many manufacturers benefit from this service that calls on both standard and bespoke formulations to optimise the process. Recently, however, Henkel’s expertise was put to test by a very different application.

Henkel’s hotmelt restores the boy king’s maskThe 3000 year-old golden mask of King Tut Ankh Amun is housed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. During a routine cleaning procedure the beard fell off and it was hastily, but improperly, glued back in position, sadly causing further damage.

On hearing of the museum’s plight, Henkel offered its help, not only to remove the incorrectly used epoxy glue but also to develop a customised hotmelt adhesive. This is the type of adhesive that is commonly used in the UK to encapsulate delicate electronic components.

Henkel developed a method to remove the epoxy from the mask without leaving any residue and also recommended the hotmelt alternative that could withstand the high ambient temperatures in Egypt and vibration caused during transportation.

At the press conference held to unveil the newly restored mask, the head of the restoration project highlighted Henkel’s role. Christian Eckmann of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz said: “The competent advice and support from the research experts at Henkel made a significant contribution to the project’s success.”

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