Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Tomb of Tutankhamun

The tomb of Tutankhamun will be closed to visitors soon in an effort to protect the tomb and it's painting from a thousand visitors a day. In an effort to still please tourists Dr. Zahi Hawass has commissioned a replica tomb.

There seems little choice in an effort of preservation of the most fragile of monuments including all of the decorated tombs in the valley of kings. The valleys fame has become it's own worst enemy and certainly must represent one of the most fragile environments in Egypt for preservation of thin layers of decorated plaster on walls which absorb the salts from the breath of countless numbers of visitors.

For the sake of preservation of the tombs in the valley of kings it would make sense to close the site, of course the tombs who's decoration is badly damaged including the tomb of Siptah Kv47 or the tomb of Merenptah Kv8 could be potentially left open as sacrifices for the dollar? Not a great solution!

The famous upper paleolithic art in the caves at Lascaux France have been closed to tourists since 1963 on behalf of the preservation of the art contained within. There are reproductions of two of the caves painted halls nearby, though I have to admit I will not be rushing to France to see them the closure is still the responsible thing to do.

Perhaps the Lascaux solution is the correct solution for the valley of kings leaving no option but for tourists to view reproductions of the tombs and return the royal cemetery back to she who loves silence, the goddess Meretseger.

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