Cleaning is good - but the wrong kind of cleaning can be very, very bad.

An overzealous museum attendant wielding a vacuum cleaner managed to suck up parts of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy at a museum in western India.Baroda Museum curator Satish Sadashivan said he only recently discovered the damage at his institution 300 miles north of Bombay.

An attendant opened the airtight case about six months ago and gave the mummy a thorough vacuum cleaning, thinking it would be good for the relic. Instead, the linen bandage sagged and paint peeled off two toes and other areas. The nose was also damaged.

The previous curator, Raj Ratan Goswami, "probably had too much work on his plate and entrusted the cleaning of the mummy to unskilled attendants," Sadashivan said.

So far, no action has been taken against Goswami, who is now curator at another museum.