Saturday, May 26, 2007

Luxor's resurrection
Nevine el-Aref reports on Mrs Suzanne Mubarak's visit to Luxor, during which she inaugurated a branch of the Mubarak Public Library and opened a Nubian Cultural Centre: "Luxor is often described as the world's greatest open air museum. The site of Egypt's ancient capital Thebes, the town boasts incomparable temples and a splendid necropolis. Sadly, though, over the centuries Luxor's monuments have suffered encroachment. Houses were built on top of ancient tombs on the West Bank and the open court fronting the Luxor Temple was turned into a bustling souq. Since 2005, however, as part of President Hosni Mubarak's programme to develop Upper Egypt and improve services for Egyptians as well as develop and promote tourist projects which will in turn provide job opportunities, Luxor has been the site of a major development scheme. New houses and shops have been built to replace buildings demolished because they encroached on ancient monuments. Excavations have been undertaken to reveal the full route of the Avenue of Sphinxes, once the royal path between Luxor and Karnak temples.
After two years of work, Luxor, which has twice won prizes for its comprehensive development plan from the International Competition of Islamic Capitals and Cities, is looking more alluring than ever. Everything has been changed: buildings along the Corniche have been repainted in earth colours and the city's streets and squares have been subject to extensive refurbishment, including the planting of large numbers of trees and flowers."
See the above page for the full story

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