(Gulfnews) - Luxor, Egypt: The linen-wrapped mummy of King Tut was put on public display for the first time yesterday - 85 years after the 3,000-year-old boy pharaoh's golden enshrined tomb and mummy were discovered in Luxor's famed Valley of the Kings.
Archaeologists removed the mummy from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb, momentarily pulling aside a white linen covering to reveal his shrivelled leather-like black face and body.
"The golden boy has magic and mystery and therefore every person all over the world will see what Egypt is doing to preserve the golden boy, and all of them I am sure will come to see the golden boy," Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told reporters under the intense Luxor sun.
Hawass said scientists began restoring King Tut's badly damaged mummy more than two years ago after it was removed briefly from its sarcophagus and placed into a CT scanner for the first time for further examination.
Hawass said he fears a more recent phenomenon - mass tourism - is further deteriorating Tut's mummy. Thousands of tourists visit the underground chamber every month.
"The humidity and heat caused by ... people entering the tomb and their breathing will change the mummy to a powder.
"The only good thing [left] in this mummy is the face. We need to preserve the face," said Hawass, who wore his signature Indiana Jones-style tan hat.
Archaeologists in recent years have tried to resolve lingering questions over how he died and his precise royal lineage. Several books and documentaries dedicated to the young pharaoh, who is believed to have been the 12th ruler of ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty and ascended to the throne around the age of 8, are popular around the world.
In an effort to try to solve the mysteries, scientists removed Tut's mummy from his tomb and placed it into a portable CT scanner for 15 minutes in 2005 to obtain a three-dimensional image.
The scans were the first done on an Egyptian mummy. The results did rule out that Tut was violently murdered - but stopped short of definitively concluding how he died around 1323 BC.