Egypt begins restoration on King Tut's golden coffin

Egypt says it has started the first-ever restoration on a gold-covered sarcophagus of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun, ahead of the country's new museum opening next year

Egypt started the first-ever restoration work on a gold-covered sarcophagus of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun, ahead of the country's new museum opening next year, the antiquities minister said Sunday.

Khaled el-Anany told reporters that work on the outermost coffin, which is made of wood and gilded with gold, is expected to take at least eight months.

He said that's because "the state of conservation is very fragile, as it was never restored" since 1922, when British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the intact 3,000-year-old tomb and the treasures it held.

The coffin remained in the tomb until July, when it was moved to the new Grand Egyptian Museum, being built near the famed pyramids of Giza outside Cairo.

Tutankhamun ascended the throne at age nine, ruling until his death at age 18 or 19.