Monday, January 29, 2007

More re Qurna move

Another fairly lengthy article about the pros and cons of the decision to rehouse the residents of Qurna in order to excavate the tombs beneath their extensive village. If you usually use Firefox as a browser I recommend that you switch to Explorer for viewing this article, as in Firefox it displays with overlapping text.
"The city of Luxor contains one third of the world’s total antiquities and brings in 3.5 million tourists a year, according to Luxor’s governor, Samir Farag. And Old Gurna currently lies on the route of many tour programs, mainly for the alabaster factories that lie along the side of the road. . . . But although the tour agencies, guides and bus drivers receive a large commission from these factories, in some cases up to 75 percent of the total sale, and factory owners and employees depend on these sales for their livelihoods, tourists are not all pleased with this imposed stop between tomb and temple visits. . . . Old Gurna residents depend on the constant influx of tourists and on the odd jobs provided by archeological missions to make their livings. So their relocation to New Taref, three kilometers down the road and both off the normal tour route and away from the nobles’ tombs they’ve been living over for generations, has been cause for their concern.
But the Egyptian government is adamant that they are doing the right thing. And by the beginning of February 2007, most of the Old Gurna homes will have been demolished and excavations will have started."

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