Friday, January 21, 2011

And now - Tutankhamun's tomb to remain open

Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)

King Tutankhamun’s tomb will not be closed in the near future, Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News.

Many reports in the past two weeks announced the closure of this tourist magnet by the end of this year.

Although suffering from the wear and tear caused by hordes of sweaty visitors drawn in by the elaborate murals and the boy king’s mummy, which is kept in a climate-controlled glass case, the burial won’t close its doors so soon.

“Tutankhamun’s tomb will not be closed in the near future. It is a long-term plan that has not been decided upon yet,” Hawass told Discovery News.


Kate Phizackerley said...

Well the newspaper reports of closure looked to be unsourced so I ignored them. I'm glad I did.

I suspect the truth is that KV62 will initially be closed to mass tourism i.e. charges will go up substantially. If tour groups can be steered into the replica and high paying tourists into the original then financially that is ideal and culturally sound.

Andie said...

He made the announcement whilst in Spain. It was reported by El Pais which is one of the top Spanish broadsheets, which pointed out that it was not clear when the tomb was to close. It was also reported at the same time by La Vanguardia, another newspaper that handles serious topics. Al Ahram Weekly stated that a site had been chosen for reconstructions of the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun. Those three seemed sufficiently plausible sources of information to give the story coverage.

Nefertari was open to the public for a few years with numbers strictly limited (and in theory the length of time visitors could stay in the tomb, but the payment of baksheesh expanded visit times considerably). It was closed to the general public and I was told that it was made available to very high-paying tourists and tours. I don't know what the current status is.

AliceG said...

Somebody is listening. I would not go to Egypt to see a copy. It's either the read thing or I'll take the pictures. However, I do see it coming. Sad, but true.

Kate Phizackerley said...

I had missed the Spanish coverage.

I hate covering news from Egypt at times. It is so hard to know which stories are reliable