Man builds Egyptian coffin

Feb. 5, 2012 at 3:01 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- An 89-year-old Florida man said he has spent the past 25 years and about $10,000 building an Egyptian-themed coffin.

"It's an unusual hobby and I'll admit it," said Fred Guentert.

Guentert, who lives near Orlando, said he began crafting the coffin in the mid-1980s, the Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday.

The coffin is hand-painted red, black, gold and green and is made of cedar to resist rot. The nearly 7-foot-tall box was created using chisels, files and sandpaper, and is held together with dowels and glue, Guentert said.

The lid is adorned with a hand-carved image of the Egyptian god Osiris, with other gods surrounding him.

Guentert said he has always been an admirer of Egyptian art. His fascination dates back to when archaeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, the year Guentert was born. He has a collection of Egyptian memorabilia, including statues and miniature masks.

Guentert said when he dies, he'll be wrapped in a shroud, embalmed and placed into the Egyptian coffin. A fiberglass mask of Osiris, the god of the afterlife, will be placed over his face.

Then, Guentert said, he'll be put into the ground, with no viewing and no funeral.

"Put me in the coffin and let me go," he said.

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