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The closure of Tutankhamun's tomb

 
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: The closure of Tutankhamun's tomb Reply with quote

I have been searching the internet for news of the closure of Tutankhamun's tomb. I cannot find anything newer than about February 2011 about this.

Given that this idea appears to have been at the instigation of Zahi Hawass together with plan for a "Valley of the Replicas" has any of this been taken up by Mustafa Amin the new head of the SCA?

Personally I have mixed feelings about such a scheme. I have had the privilege of being in Tutankhamun's tomb and as someone with a background in Archaeology did appreciate the experience. Howard Carter being one of my archaeological heroes and someone who has been sadly ignored for many years. On the other hand I do accept that these irreplaceable sites should be preserved for posterity and given the creation of acceptable replicas can see no reason for not visiting them instead. What I do find objectionable is the situation with the tomb of Nefertari, that being only accessible to the well connected/well heeled. True many of these people may well have an interest in the history of such sites but can you really see many politicians, WAGS etc. really understanding what they are looking at? That sounds terribly elitist, it is not meant to be, but I dislike the thought that such site can be opened to the highest bidder and not necessarily to those most interested in them. If tombs such as Nefertari's, Seti I's and Tutankhamun's are to be closed is it too much to ask that replicas be created to allow ordinary people to experience the wonder and beauty of what are some of the world' greatest treasures?
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kylejustin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can't help with tut's tomb, and i have heard of a replica being built of seti I's tomb, which i know was partly done previously under belzoni.

a few years back, nefertari's tomb was in really bad shape. the paintings were literally peeling off the walls due to salt crystals forming under the plaster. they did extensive conservation work, and even used tape to keep the paint on the walls.

i thought it would be easier to literally cut the paintings off the walls and preserve them in a museum, but the rooms designed to be like you were int he tomb itself, like the replica of seti's tomb. that way the paintings are preserved from the destruction nature can do to the valley of the kings/queens. but it is not a move people agree with.
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I think Belzoni did create a partial copy of Seti's tomb and also a scale model that were exhibited in the Egyptian Hall in London and then in Paris. In doing so his use of wet squeezes started the damage to the reliefs that have caused the tomb to be closed.

That was in 1820/1.

I would love to explore what is the most richly decorated tomb in the Valley, a replica would do very nicely. Does anyone have any information on this?
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neseret
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A M Street wrote:
Yes I think Belzoni did create a partial copy of Seti's tomb and also a scale model that were exhibited in the Egyptian Hall in London and then in Paris. In doing so his use of wet squeezes started the damage to the reliefs that have caused the tomb to be closed.

That was in 1820/1.

I would love to explore what is the most richly decorated tomb in the Valley, a replica would do very nicely. Does anyone have any information on this?


The replica plan was to recreate various West Valley (of the Kings) tombs in Giza, and to transform the Giza are, with the New Egyptian Museum into a "one-stop" antquities/entertainment centre. This would have allowd the actual Valley of the Kings tombs to be closed for restoration/research.
Tomb replicas discussed (as far back as 2001, when a conference on the issue was held at the Soames Museum in London) included KV 17 (Tomb of Seti I), Tutankhamun (KV 62), Thutmose III, among others. The work was supposed to be carried out by a group called Factum Arte, who have completed the facsimile of Tutankhamun's tomb, but due to the recent political upheavals in Egypt, they are keeping the facsimile in storage. You can view information about this facsimile, including the full report (in English and Arabic) to the SCA about the work, here.

Factum Arte also has created a facsimile of KV 17, the tomb of Seti I, which was to be used for conservation and research purposes. You can read about their work on this tomb here.

While it's probably fair to say that we cannot continue to visit the actual tombs in Egypt without severe damage to the structures and artwork (which is why Nefertari's tomb is now restricted: its artwork is again deteriorating after a huge restoration project by the Getty Institute restored the artwork in the 1980's-1990's), I don't think it's a good use of resources to place the facsimiles so far away from the original location.

My research indicates that if you really want to understand the meaning of scenes in New Kingdom tombs, both their orientation and placement against the natural landscape in which the tombs were situated play into this meaning. Taking a West Bank tomb, move it over 600 miles north, and placing it away from its natural landscape and depth in the Qurn mountain of the West Bank disrupts the tomb's meaning, and the point of these replicas is to act as an accurate educational tool.

So, I would think until the political situation in Egypt becomes stable and the work on both the New Egyptian Museum and Children's Museum in Cairo are complete, the work on the replicas as an educational tool will have to wait. I do hope they reconsider the location of these New Kingdom tomb replicas, however.

HTH.
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree whole-heartedly, having the replicas at Giza would greatly detract from their historical and geographic context. Besides, I have to admit that Cairo in NOT my favourite city. Last time I was there a cold I caught ended up as pleurisy, hence my bias. But Cairo is crowded, smelly, noisy and not that tourist friendly, put the replicas out at Giza, and you will have to fight your way through the crowds around the Pyramids, the new Egyptian Museum and some of the most enthusiastic touts I have ever come across.

neseret has the right of it. Have the replicas in an adjoining valley in the Theban Hills and keep the context of the tombs as close to the originals as possible.

As an aside, neseret, did you mean the Main (East) valley? As far as I know there are only a handful of tombs of any note in the West Valley i.e. WVs 22,23 and 25, Amenhotep III, Ay and possible Akhenaten. I hope to be visiting them on my trip to Luxor in a few weeks.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall a lecture a couple of years ago at the Mummification Museum in Luxor by someone from Factum Arte. He said then that the SCA were considering using the natural contours around the Stoppelare House near the entrance to the VOK for the location of the replica tombs
Some work did occur around the Stoppelare House but then ceased.

That would make far more sense being located so near to the actual location. The Carter House being nearby would make for an interesting inclusion.
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LadyOsiris
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A replica would just numb the excitement of the experience of visiting Tutankhamun's tomb...

Though you are right, the preservation of the tomb is the number one majority it is irreplacable, so you can not take the risk of eventually destroying it...

I believe they should restrict and limit visitors to the tomb, and any other important or major tombs... Smile
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LadyOsiris wrote:


I believe they should restrict and limit visitors to the tomb, and any other important or major tombs... Smile


Well, to a certain extent they already do. When I last visited the Valley there was a charge of LE80 on top of the standard ticket to visit Tutankhamun's tomb and not that many takers.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally would pay any extent of price to visit King Tutankhamun's tomb! Aslong as it's not to a expensivally redicoulous cost $ Confused

They should just keep it so not many people are able to acces the tomb! Like I suppose theyre doing at this moment..
Not close the tomb completely!

There must be a way to preserve the tomb and assure it's safety, while allowing people to visit the tomb?.. Idea
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be totally honest, I would not pay any extra for Tutankhamun's tomb.
It is, in fact, one of the least impressive tombs in the entire valley. It is the Carter association and the fact that it was almost intact at discovery which gives it the "must see" value for a first time visitor.
I could show you several others that are truely impressive in comparison and they are included in the standard ticket price Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to visit the tomb again a few weeks ago. I always have to visit him when I am in the Valley and am happy to spend the LE100. The extra ticket does seem to detract a lot of people from visiting and there are much more impressive tombs. Tutankhamum is one of the people that got me interested in Egyptology so I am a little biased. However, I wold not be brokenhearted if it was closed. Its preservation is far more important than that.
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theegyptologyblogger
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have mixed emotions about this. i would hate to see king tuts tomb closed. but i would also hate to see it destroyed. so i guess if closing it preserves it and stops it from being damaged beyond repair then thats a good thing. yet if there going to allow the elite of society to see it then it should be available for all. not just the Rich and powerful.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theegyptologyblogger wrote:
i have mixed emotions about this. i would hate to see king tuts tomb closed. but i would also hate to see it destroyed. so i guess if closing it preserves it and stops it from being damaged beyond repair then thats a good thing. yet if there going to allow the elite of society to see it then it should be available for all. not just the Rich and powerful.


I see what you are saying but it is the number of people & the amount of CO2 and moisture they give off that causes the damage. Less people less damage, it is as simple as that. The easiest was to reduce the numbers is to charge special fees & make it more difficult to obtain permission.

I bitterly regret missing out on Nefertari when it was open. The only way to get the limited number of daily tickets then was to be at the ticket office at 6a.m. & as we were holidaying on the East Bank we didn't bother, intending to do it next visit Crying or Very sad
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