Before coming to the museum, I’d read about a new dispute over the Tut mummy, which the Supreme Council of Antiquities wanted to move to Cairo, apparently for a “checkup,” and possible further tests, which, if recent history is any indication, won’t necessarily bring scholars closer to the truth. But local and international Egyptologists denounced the plans—the mummy is far too delicate to be transported, they argued—and in late September, Mamdouh el-Damaty, the new antiquities minister, backtracked on the project.
I asked el-Halwagi whether he thought Tut’s mummy would ever leave his tomb. “Why not keep him where he is?” he said. “The man has been through enough.”