Tutankhamun’s replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor

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A committee administering Egypt’s antiquities decided Tuesday to re-erect a dismantled replica tomb of King Tutankhamun, placing it beside the former residence of discoverer Howard Carter on Luxor’s west bank.

Tutankhamun's replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor
An artist puts final touches to one of the tomb’s reliefs [Credit: Ahram]

Secretary-general of the Ministry of the State of Antiquities (MSA), Mostafa Amin, told Ahram Online that the replica tomb will provide tourists with a better picture of how Carter lived during his excavation work at the Valley of the Kings in the early 1920s.

Tourists can already visit the Carter Rest-House in Luxor, which has been restored and developed into a museum displaying the tools and instruments he used during his excavations.

The re-erected tomb will stay in Luxor until the completion of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza plateau, where it will eventually be transferred.

The re-erection of the replica tomb is a gift to Egypt from the Factum Foundation in Madrid, the Society of Friends of the Royal Tombs of Egypt in Zurich and the University of Basel, in order to promote the EU Task Force Conference – which took place in Egypt almost a year ago – as well as to mark the 90th anniversary of the beginnings of Howard Carter’s work in Luxor.

Tutankhamun's replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor
Workers in the tomb of Tutankhamun, in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor [Credit: Reuters]

British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb at the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank on 22 November 1922. The tomb was then dismantled and stored in one of the MSA’s archaeological galleries.

Work on the tomb was instigated in 1988 by the Society of Friends of the Royal Tombs of Egypt, with the full support of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) – now the MSA.

The first phase of re-construction included the three tombs that are in danger from high numbers of visitors: Tutankhamun, Nefertari and Set I.

The concrete production of Tutankhamun’s replica tomb started in 2009 and was completed in October 2012. The Madrid-based Factum Arte used high-tech 3D scanners to facsimile the actual tomb.

Tutankhamun's replica tomb to be re-erected in Luxor
Construction work of the replica tomb [Credit: Ahram]

Director and Chief Engineer of Factum Arte Michael Ward said that Tutankhamun’s replica tomb took three years to complete and involved the invention of a new technology to record every inch of the tomb and perfectly replicate it.

The ministry has long supported the idea of building replicas of the royal tombs that are currently closed, or need to be closed to the public for their protection, at Theban Necropolis, according to president of the Factum Foundation James Macmillan-Scott.

Macmillian-Scott explained that the replica tombs will provide another opportunity for visitors to admire the ancient Egyptian royal tombs and learn the history of their discovery.

They will also encourage the necessary conservation of the original tombs and promote Egypt among nations utilising specialist technology and the manual skills required for their reconstruction.

Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [October 01, 2013]

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