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When it was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter, Tutankhamen's tomb was in fairly pristine condition considering it had lain hidden for over three thousand years. Fast forward less than one hundred years and things are not looking quite so good. Unsurprisingly this incredible historical find rapidly became a tourist hot spot and at one time an average of 6,000 visitors a day were able to view its secrets up close. All of this traffic and the consequential changes in temperature and humidity has led to a rapid decay of the detailed paintings on the plaster walls, which are now coming away. So much so, in fact, that officials have declared the burial chamber must be closed to tourists to be replaced by an exact replica which is being created by a British artist named Adam Lowe.

Lowe has created replicas of three tombs from the Valley of the Kings which includes that of the legendary King Tutankhamen. The project has taken over two years to create and, as tourism makes up a huge part of Egypt's economy, officials there are determined to get this initiative right. Their aim is to safeguard the sites for the future while ensuring ongoing tourism to the country is unaffected. Though the replica is set to be unveiled in Cairo in a week's time, the final destination for the facsimiles of the tombs is still unknown. Speculations have included near Howard Carter's house in Luxor.

Regardless of the planned closures of the tombs, Luxor, in upper Egypt, will still offer plenty of incredible sights for tourists to see. The spectacular Avenue of the Sphinxes is a breath-taking scene, while there is no doubt that the view of the Pyramids across the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens is one of the world's most unforgettable panoramas that can almost transport the traveller back in time in an instant. While for those wishing to find out about the more gruesome side of funereal habits among the Ancient Egyptians, the Mummification Museum is the place to go. The city itself is one of contrasts. On the opposite side of the Nile to the familiar sight of the Pyramids is the modern face of Luxor. This contemporary setting has sprung up around the temple complexes of Karnak and Luxor which are now surrounded by hotels, shopping malls and nightlife.

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