Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Replicas in the Valley of the Kings?

Al Ahram Weekly (Riad Tawfik)

Tourism experts have greeted a plan to open replica tombs for tourists on the west bank at Luxor with considerable scepticism, writes Riad Tawfik

Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has recently announced a radical plan to try to save the ancient Egyptian tombs on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor. According to the plan, visitors will soon be unable to visit the tombs themselves and will instead be directed to replica tombs built nearby, with the first such replicas being those of the ancient Egyptian rulers Tutankhamun, Seti I and Nefertari.

Antiquity officials have been concerned over the deterioration of the tombs, which attract some 9,000 visitors a day, for some time now. Scientists examining the tombs have warned of an elevated level of carbon dioxide and humidity in the air, as well as damage to the tombs' wall paintings and salt deposits on the walls, all connected to the excessive number of visitors.

There are 63 tombs in the Valley of the Kings and 100 tombs in the Valley of the Queens, and experts are warning that these peerless archaeological destinations may be in danger.


Scrabcake said...

If they are going to close them I feel that they need to close them to everybody, not just people who can't afford a hefty pricetag or are not part of the club of people who know people in the SCA.

Anonymous said...

If they are going to spend all this money on replicas, would it not be better spent on restoration and the installation of air conditioning in the actual tombs. Once they are closed to general access, the chances are they will be neglected and therefore deteriorate.

Anonymous said...

They won't abandon them as teams of excavators and restorators will be working on them
Closing the Valley of the Kings is unfortunately a necessity if we want to save it