Cairo, Madrid & Luxor – 22nd April 2014 – The exact facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun has been installed underground in a building next to Carter’s House, at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings and is due to be officially opened on 30th April 2014.
The facsimile, made by Factum Arte, Madrid is the most accurate large-scale facsimile to be made to date. This is the culmination of many years work and is an important milestone in the approach to responsible heritage management and the use of advanced technology in the promotion of sustainable tourism. It has been made with the full support of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, the Minister of State for Antiquities and with the backing of the European Union. The facsimile is a gift to the people of Egypt from Factum Foundation. It is housed in an underground building designed by the Tarek Waly Centre: Heritage and Architecture, Cairo. Past Preservers was proud to have assisted as local agents for Factum Arte in Egypt. The public opening will be 1st May 2014.
The work has involved the development of advanced 3D technologies for recording the tombs and perfecting the method to replicate them. It is the first stage of a larger project that involves the creation of facsimiles of the Tombs of Seti I and Nefertari – both currently closed to the general public.
The need for a facsimile:
The Tomb of Tutankhamun was hidden for over 3,000 years, but since its discovery in 1922 it has rapidly deteriorated – not due to neglect but rather because it was not built to accommodate the vast numbers of people who visit each day; in 2011 it was announced by the Supreme Council of Antiquities that the original tomb must be closed for conservation reasons. The original tomb is currently open giving visitors a unique opportunity to visit both it and the facsimile and compare the experience. The facsimile is part of an initiative to safeguard the tombs of the Theban Necropolis that are either closed to the public for conservation reasons or are in need of closure to preserve them for future generations.
The facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun will give visitors an opportunity to understand the history of the tomb since its discovery, encourage conservation of the original site and establish Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities as a world leader supporting the use of high-resolution documentation to monitor the condition of the tombs.
- To promote a positive and sustainable approach to tourism – and to encourage an awareness that sustainable tourism can be a positive force in the conservation of Egypt’s cultural heritage
- To facilitate the transfer of technology and skills to set up workshops on Luxor’s West Bank to carry out the recording and production of facsimiles of the tombs of Seti I and Queen Nefertari
- To create long term skilled jobs in Luxor
Adam Lowe, Founder and Director of Factum Arte, comments “As the number of cultural tourists increases, more people are becoming aware that each visit to a heritage site leads to its decay – we want to turn that awareness around and make each visit a positive story not just for the original but also for the visitor. We can do this by using exact facsimiles that allow an experience of the original while at the same time preserving it and providing funds to make sure the site is maintained.”
James Macmillan-Scott, President of Factum Foundation, said “This is an seminal project both in relation to the preservation of our cultural heritage but also in the understanding and acceptance that advances in technology have, for the first time, made it possible to preserve that heritage through high resolution digital recording and, where appropriate, the creation of exact facsimiles.”
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