When Archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the lost tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings in 1923, he was so overcome with excitement, and in such a hurry to get all those “wonderful things” he saw out of the tomb—and of these the golden sarcophagus of the Pharaoh itself was certainly not least, thus Carter was in an equal hurry to get the boy king out of his coffin—that he treated the desiccated monarch in a rather undignified manner. Archaeologists today shudder when reading the chronicle of Carter sawing the body in two and prying it out of the casket. Howard failed to realize at the time that Tut’s mummy was as valuable to history as all those golden effigies and gilded pieces of furniture and artwork. The point to this preamble? We humans often fail to recognize a genuine treasure when we come across it.
The last surviving fiberglass model cast from “Bruce,” the mechanical maneater in Steven Spielberg’s classic film JAWS, was just such a treasure. Relegated to sentry duty at a junkyard—talk about the undignified treatment of a monarch!—after Universal Studios gave him the boot in 1990, faux-Bruce is at last getting the recognition he deserves. He will hereafter reside at the new The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum in Los Angeles. Apropos, just as Tut is now back in his golden sarcophagus in Egypt where he belongs. And as for that junkyard that served as Bruce’s home for the past two decades and change? If not for its owners, the model would doubtless now be lost, so we all owe them a debt of gratitude. Thankfully they recognized the shark as the genuine treasure it is and made sure it’s gonna end up where it belongs, in a museum instead of the scrap yard.