Having lain undiscovered for 23 centuries, the Tomb of Tutankhamen in Luxor, Egypt is set to once again be closed to the general public.
Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities has taken the decision due to the adverse effect that the high number of visitors is having on the world famous attraction.
The Tomb is located in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor and was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter as recently as 1922. The mummy of the Pharaoh remains as it was found apart from being stripped of its rich burial vestments which are now on display in Cairo.
Whilst photography has been strictly forbidden in an effort to conserve the remains it appears that something as simple as the breath of its many inquisitive and fascinated guests could slowly be destroying the antiquity.
Over 1000 people visit the tomb every day making the air temperature rise, this in turn is affecting the wall paintings; the colour is starting to fade, paint is starting to peel and mould is appearing on the walls. It is feared that within 200 years the ancient tomb may be ruined despite having been around since approximately 1341 BC.
Zahi Hawass from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities has stated that the tomb will have to close by the end of 2011; however this is not the only tomb to close. In the nearby Valley of the Kings the tomb of Seti I, father of Ramses II and in the Valley of the Queens the tomb of Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II have also been closed to the public.
The decision has been made to create replicas of the tombs so the public will still be able to see them in all their glory, they will just be intricately designed replicas of the original greats. Experts using lasers will recreate the complex writing and drawings that adorn the walls in tombs built on the west bank of the Nile, whilst the originals are once again hidden from the outside world, perhaps forever.