Exhibit curators charged with keeping relics safe, even in an earthquake

SEATTLE -- Security is tight at the King Tut exhibit, but it isn't just thieves and vandals curators have to worry about.

The 2001 Nisqually earthquake rocked Seattle, and another major quake could hit western Washington at any time.

Dr. David Silverman is in charge of the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center.

"Certainly, on the west coast where there are more earthquakes, and we're more aware of that," he said.

Silverman said the relics are displayed using special mounting to guard against earthquakes.

"For years now we've known about mounts that will work better and withstand any kind of movement. So the first thing is to protect the artifacts and we certainly have done that," he said.

But even a close inspection of the mounts doesn't reveal how they work.

"For the public in general, there is no way you would see the difference," Silverman said. "It's just better for the artifacts."

Next door at the Chihuly Glass Museum they planned for earthquakes even before the building went up.

"We are completely prepared for an earthquake, and I know that sounds funny when you're looking at a glass house filled with glass, but everything was engineered and designed to make sure that nothing would happen to the artwork," said Michelle Bufano, the museum's executive director.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the new Seattle Wheel when it opens next month. Owner Hal Griffith said pilings underneath the attraction can withstand a massive jolt.

"They're 150-feet long, 36 inches in diameter steel galvanized pile filled with reinforced concrete," Griffith said.

Silverman said his team is making sure treasures that endured millenia will survive their stay in Seattle.