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The Egyptian tourism authorities plan the reopening of two Pharaonic sites, the tomb of King Seti I and the tomb of Queen Nefertari. The two sites, both immensely popular tourist attractions in the ancient city of Luxor, have existed for more than three millennia, and they date back to the New Kingdom era. They were closed a number of years ago to undergo renovations, after experiencing increased humidity due to a lot of visitors, which threatened to destroy the delicate wall paintings inside the tombs.
Egyptian tourism officials announced that the tombs will be open to tourists in a month’s time. However, to protect the sites from being damaged, authorities plan on limiting the number of visitors to about 100 to 150 people per day.
A number of measures have been set in place to enforce this policy. One of them is that the price of viewing tickets reaches 110 US dollars. According to the officials, this will help to promote tourism, while at the same time, protect the cultural heritage of the popular Egyptian tourist attractions.
The decision to open the tombs was made in an effort to increase the number of tourists visiting the city of Luxor, following a decline in numbers that was experienced after the Arab Uprisings in 2011. The move is one of the latest attempts by the Egyptian tourism industry to win the foreign tourists back, following years of political instability and a wave of terrorist attacks that have scared away many visitors.
Last month, the officials reopened the Pyramid of King Unas, one of the most important pyramids, which was a burial ground during the ancient Egyptian era. The pyramid, which is located about 30 kilometers to the south of the Egyptian capital, has a very rich history, having been in existence for more than 4,000 years. It had been closed for 20 years, also undergoing renovations.
Other tourist attractions that have also been recently reopened include four tombs in Luxor, which were used to bury the royal butlers of the New Kingdom. The tombs contain wall paintings that show various ancient Egyptian gods, and had also been closed for years while undergoing restorations.
The move by the Egyptian tourism officials to reopen these historic sites is aimed at increasing the number of tourists visiting the country, which have continued to drop since 2011. The situation has been further worsened by two major aviation accidents, the shooting down of Russian passenger jet in North Sinai last year, and the recent crash of an Egyptian passenger jet in the Mediterranean, which has scared away foreign tourists.