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Black Activists Upset Over King Tut Portraits


Black activists say computer-generated portraits of King Tut that are scheduled to go on display at a museum exhibit in December wrongly depict the young Egyptian as White.

Teams of researchers reviewed recent CT scans and forensic data of the mummified corpse to create the images. They show him with light, medium and dark skin, said Terry Garcia, executive vice president for mission programs at National Geographic Society, an exhibit co-sponsor.

“No one really knows his exact skin tone,” Garcia said. “There is no way to judge a skin tone. We went down the middle. We took the best science available.”

The exhibit, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” will be at the Museum of Art Dec. 15 through April 23, 2006. It previously appeared in Los Angeles, where only the medium-skinned portrait was included in the exhibit.

But earlier research by New Zealand, British and African scholars determined Tut was Black.

Professor Manu Ampim, a historian and professor of African studies at Peralta Community College in Oakland, Calif., said the artists and sculptors of Tut’s time left “firsthand evidence” of Tut’s Black skin color in their paintings and sculptures.

—Associated Press

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