The Valley of the Kings
©
The Heritage Trust
 
Patrick Kingsley, writing for The Guardian earlier this month, reports that –
 
An exact replica of the tomb of Tutankhamun is set to be installed near the 3,000-year-old original, in what one of the world’s leading Egyptologists has called a revolutionary development in Egyptian archaeological conservation. Officials hope the £420,000 project will prolong the life of the original while promoting a new model of sustainable tourism and research in a country where many pharaonic sites are under severe threat. Tutankhamen’s tomb is one of 63 burial sites in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings. After years of visitors, some have had to close due to damage while others – such as Tutankhamun’s – are under threat, with restoration efforts likely to make the problem worse.
 
 
Section of Tutankhamen’s Tomb
Image credit Stefano Benini
 
The facsimile is said to be one of the most sophisticated replicas ever made. Its creation involved measuring 100 million points in every square metre of the original tomb. Factum Arte used laser scanners to capture the texture, shape and colours of the tomb, before reproducing it with machine-operated blades, some with a width of less than two-tenths of a millimetre. “There’s a lot of arguments between conservators and tourism experts about whether replicas will help or hinder tourism,” said Weeks [Kent Weeks is a leading Egyptologist who has been researching pharaonic sites since the 1960s]. “But we should be able to show that there is no conflict between the economic needs of the country and conservation needs of the tombs. One can make a much more meaningful visit to the replica than one ever could to the original.”
 
Full article here.