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Egypt changes stance: King Tut's tomb will stay open (for now)
The famous tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt will remain open for the time being, the chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass announced.
While earlier this week he stated that it and two other tombs in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor would close by the end of the year, now he's saying that they'll close at some undetermined time in the future.
Egypt plans to build a Valley of the Replicas to show off exact duplicates of King Tut's tomb and those of Seti I and Queen Nefertari. These and other tombs are suffering damage due to the large numbers of people passing through. The extra humidity from their breath is causing mold to grow and is damaging the ancient paintings that adorn the walls. The number of visitors to Tutankhamun's tomb has already been limited to 1,000 a day, down from a peak of 6,000 a day.
Once the Valley of the Replicas is open, and there's no set date for that yet, King Tut's tomb will close to everyone except those paying an extra fee that will probably run into the thousands of dollars. The pharaoh's mummy will remain in its tomb.
[Photo courtesy user Kounosu via Wikimedia Commons]