A highly publicised museum exhibit will open later this month in London followed by a US tour that starts at the Dallas Museum of Art.
 

'Brittle mummy'

 

Scientists began restoring King Tut's badly damaged mummy more than two years ago.

 

Much of the mummy's body is broken into 18 pieces, Hawass said.

 

He fears that mass tourism may deteriorate King Tut's mummy further as 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 in this mummy is the face. We need to preserve the face," Hawass said.

 

The mystery surrounding King Tut and his glittering gold tomb has enchanted fans since Howard Carter, a British archaeologist, first discovered the hidden tomb in Luxor's famed Valley of the Kings on November 4, 1922.

 

Several books and documentaries have been dedicated to the young pharaoh, who is believed to have been the 12th ruler of ancient Egypt at the tender age of 8.

 

Egypt's tourism industry is hoping to capitalise on the public’s fascination in King Tut and draw tourists to Luxor to see the boy king.

 

More than 9 million tourists visited Egypt last year - up from 8.7 million the previous year, the Egyptian Tourist Authority said.