Egyptian experts to conserve mummy in Hyderabad museum

July 29th, 2009 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 29 (IANS) Expert assistance from Egypt is finally on its way to conserve an Egyptian mummy dating back to 2500 BC at a museum here.
The mummy, believed to be of Nasihu, daughter of the sixth Pharaoh of Egypt, is on display at the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeological Museum here since 1930 but is now decaying.

A two member team from the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt will visit Hyderabad for conservation of the mummy, believed to be over 4,500 years old.

The department of archaeology and the Museum of Andhra Pradesh have long been seeking foreign assistance to restore the mummy, one of the six in Indian museums and the only mummy in south India.

Tarek El Awdy, head of the research department at the Supreme Council Antiquities (SCA) and Sama Mohamed El Marghani, Director General of Treatment of Biological Damage at SCA will first make an assessment of the work needed to be done for preservation of Nasihu’s body.

SCA is a part of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and responsible for the conservation, protection and regulation of all antiquities and archaeological excavations in Egypt. Tarek El Awdy is also the general supervisor of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

According to P. Chenna Reddy, director of Archaeology and museum, the linen bandage of the mummy would be replaced. The experts will also replace the existing material stuffed inside the mummy with scientifically treated cotton foam material.

The crust of the body, lying in an airtight enclosure, is fragmenting at the face, shoulders and around the feet. The wrapping has started to peel and the cracks are very conspicuous at several places.

The mummy was brought by Nazeer Nawaz Jung, son-in-law of Mir Mehboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam or ruler of then Hyderabad State around 1920. He gifted it to the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, who in turn donated it to the museum in 1930.

The museum located in Public Gardens in the heart of the city was then known as Hyderabad Museum. But after the merger of Hyderabad State with the Indian Union it was renamed the State Archaeological Museum.

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