facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamen installed in Luxor – official opening on 30th April 2014

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Exact facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamen installed in Luxor  official  opening on 30th April 2014

The exact facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun has been installed underground in a building  next to Carters house, at the entrance to the valley of the kings and is due to be officially opened on 30th April 2014.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor

The facsimile , made by Factum Arte, Madrid is the most accurate large -scale  facsimile to be made to date .This is the culmination of many years work and is an important milestone in the approach to responsible heritage management and the use of advanced technology in the promotion of sustainable tourism . it has been made with the full support of Mr.Hisham Zaazou  the Egyptian  Minister of  tourism , the minister of state for Antiquities and with the backing of the European Union . The facsimile is a gift to the people of Egypt from Factum Foundation . Its housed in an underground building designed by the tarek waly center : Heritage and Architecture , Cairo .The Public opening will be 1st may 2014

The work has involved the development of advanced 3D technologies  for recording the tombs and perfecting the method to replicate them. Its the first stage of a larger project that involves the creation of Facsimiles of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari – both currently closed to the general public .

The Need for a facsimile :

The Tomb of Tutankhamun was hidden for over 3000 years , but since its discovery in 1922 it has rapidly deteriorated – not due to neglect but rather because it was not built to accommodate the vast numbers of people who visit each day ; in 2011it was announced by the Supreme council of Antiquities that the original tomb must be closed for conservation reasons .The original tomb is currently open giving visitors a unique opportunity to visit both of it and the facsimile and compare the experience. the facsimile is part of an initiative to safeguard the tombs of the Theeban Necropolis that are either closed to the public for for conservation reasons or are in need of closure to preserve them for future generations.

The facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun will give visitors an opportunity to understand history of the tomb since its discovery, encourage conservation of the original site and establish Egypts Ministry of Antiquities as a world leader supporting the use of high – resolution documentation to monitor the condition of the Tombs.

The Gift and Installation of the facsimile has very specific objects:

1. To promote a positive and Sustainable approach to tourism – and to encourage an awareness that sustainable tourism can be a positive force in the conservation of Egypt s cultural heritage.

2. To facilitate the transfer of technology and skills to set up workshops on Luxors west bank to carry out the recording and production of facsimiles of tombs of Seti I and Queen Nefertari to create long term skilled jobs in Luxor .

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Replica Tutankhamun tomb set to open in Luxor

A painstakingly accurate replica of King Tut’s tomb is set to open in EgyptLuxor

Its existence will present visitors with the moral dilemma of paying to see the original tomb or helping to preserve its future existence by visiting the facsimile version instead. 

The Supreme Council of Antiquities commissioned carefully-crafted replicas of the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun back in 2009.

The move was a bid to stave off further irreparable damage caused by decades of tourists flocking to see the boy king’s burial chamber and other ancient tombs.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor
Changes in temperature and humidity, say experts, is causing the intricately painted plaster to crumble away from the walls. Visitors could soon be completely banned from entering them

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A Madrid-based company, Factum Arte, which has worked with museums all over the world to produce facsimiles of endangered art, used high-tech 3D scanners to create the replica of King Tut’s tomb in a process that has taken several years to complete.

November will see the new version of the tomb of Tutankhamun installed just outside Howard Carter’s house, around half a mile from where the original lays in Luxor‘s Valley of the Kings.

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon at Opening of King Tutankhamun's Tomb

On November 4th 1922, after years of toiling away in the Valley of the Kings, British archaeologist Howard Carter sensationally discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb and revealed one of the most significant Egyptian excavations of all time.

The fascination with Carter’s story and the perpetual promise of more discoveries has seen tourists pouring into the sun-drenched site although there has been a significant dip in tourism this year as the country has suffered from ongoing political protests.

One of the Factum Arte team, Briton Adam Lowe, is hopeful that the replica will become as popular as the orginal as visitors ‘become part of the force that protects it [the original] rather than a force that is leading to its destruction.’

He told the BBC: ‘They will have the thrill of visiting something they know is 3,000 years old and they have the guilt of knowing, as they look at it, that their presence is part of the reason why it won’t be there in another 100 years’ time.’

Source: dailymail