Tuesday, October 14, 2014

News: Luxor celebrates 110th anniversary of Queen Nefertari Tomb discovery

CAIRO: In commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the discovery of Queen Nefertari’s Tomb, the Tourism Ministry has organized a 10-day celebration starting Oct. 15 at the Valley of the Queens west of Luxor, Ahmed Shoukry, the International Tourism Sector Chairman at the General Authority for Tourism, told The Cairo Post Saturday.

Queen Nefertari (1295 B.C.-1255 B.C.) was the wife of Pharaoh Ramses II (1279 B.C.-1223 B.C.), and one of the most famous Egyptian queens. Her tomb was discovered in 1904 by Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli (1856-1928), who was the director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Sheref el-Sabban, dean of the Tourism and Hotels Faculty at Minya University, told The Cairo Post Saturday.

The celebrations are organized by the Tourism Ministry in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Egypt, Civil Aviation Ministry and the Tourism Promotion Authority, according to Shoukry. “Media figures from both Egypt and Italy, Italian archaeologists and tour operators will be attending the celebrations, which are expected to pull in more tourists to Luxor and Upper Egypt,” said Shoukry.

For two decades, the tomb has been under restoration and access was restricted to VIPs, archaeological missions and private visits, Sabban said. “In 1998, an international team of archaeologists and restoration workers undertook the restoration of the tomb, which has been suffering from rainwater that has leaked into the tomb over thousands of years. Salt deposits also ruined most of the plaster layers on its walls,” Sabban added.

In July, the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced it would launch a project to build an exact, full-size replica of Queen Nefertari’s tomb to divert tourists away from the badly damaged original tomb while still providing them the chance to experience what the original looks like. “The facsimile production of the tomb will record every tiny detail and dozens of square yards of inscriptions and depictions of scenes found in the original tomb,” Shoukry previously told The Cairo Post.

However, Magdy Mohsen, a local tour guide working in Luxor, also previously told The Cairo Post that the tomb is the best preserved and the most spectacular in Egypt. “During my few visits to the tomb, I was always just like my guests—excited! At the end of the 10- minute-visit, my guests, fascinated with its bright colors, all say it must have been finished and painted yesterday,” Mohsen said.
Source: Cairo Post
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