The Facsimile of Tutankhamun's tomb
Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

All the images regarding the project and available for publication can be requested at this link

On the 30th 2014 April the facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun was opened to the public by the minister of Antiquities, Mohamed Ibrahim, the Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zazou, The Governor of Luxor, Tarek Saad el Din, the EU ambassador James Moran and about 25 other ambassadors from the EU countries, Malaysia, Mexico, India and elsewhere. The atmosphere was one of deep excitement and joy - a facsimile has been made that is identical to the original at normal viewing distances. It has been placed within a small museum that reveals why it looks as it does and why it is so difficult to preserve something that was built to last for eternity but not to be visited. It was announced that work will now start on the creation of a training centre in Luxor and on the complex task of recording of the tombs of Seti I and Queen Nefertari.

  • Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim and Adam Lowe entering the facsimile on the 30th April during the opening
  • Adam Lowe and Michael Roberts embrace members of the Egyptian team during the lunch organized for the workers on the first day of the opening of the facsimile

Fundraising work on the second phase of the project in the Valley of the Kings is onging and gaining momentum. It is hoped work can start on the restoration of Stoppelaere house before the end of the year and that the training centre will start working with local scanner operators. Once the first operators are trained and the centre is operational the practical task of scanning the relief carvings will start in the Tomb of Seti I and then in the Tomb of Queen Nefertari.

  • Two of the local team taking a moments rest over the installed sign at the entrance to the facsimile.
  • Sunset on the first evening of the completion of the exterior.
  • The exterior in the evening with the lights of the valley road in the background

The interior of the facsimile of the Tomb taken from the viewing gallery - the interior is reflected in the glass cover on top of the sarcophagus.

The facsimile of Tutankhamun's tomb is accompanied by an exhibition about the tomb, its contents and the reason it looks as it does today.

The exhibition's display contains text by Jaromir Malek Nicholas Reeves, and Adam Lowe. The photographs by Harry Burton that were printed by Rafa Rachewsky at Factum Arte from files provided by The Griffith Institute, Oxford. The design of the display was done by Blanca Nieto. 

Click here to read the exhibition's texts by Adam Lowe, Jaromir Malek and Nicholas Reeves.
The BBC Travel Show's Rajan Datar has been inside the replica of Tutankhamun's tomb. Watch here the video about the installation of the facsimile.

Recording the tomb 

The High resolution recording and production of an exact facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun is part of a major initiative by the Supreme Council of Antiquities to preserve the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The project is being run by the University of Basel with permission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The agreement covers the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun. The work is being organised by The Friends of the Royal Tombs of Egypt (a Swiss foundation), The Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation (a Spanish foundation) and Factum Arte. All the work to record and make the facsimiles has been carried out by Factum Arte.
The Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation's hosts the full report at www.factumfoundation.org
To learn more about the process of recording of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, click here.

Making the facsimile 

After recording, the processing of data and production of the tomb's facsimile was carried out in Factum Arte's warehouse, Madrid. To view the making of the facsimile of the tomb and sarcophagus of Tutankhamun, click here.

Tutankhamun's South Wall: recovering the missing pieces 

Working with assistance from the Griffith Institute in Oxford, who supplied a high resolution file of Harry Burton's photograph of a fragment removed from the south wall of the tomb of Tutankhamun, Factum Arte has reconstructed its colour. All colour information is based on the high resolution recordings made in the tomb. To view the process, click here.

Navigator 

A high-resolution image browser is being prepared to navigate through the high resolution photographic data scanned at the tomb. To learn more about the navigator, click here.

Further documentation

To see the english version of the full report on the scanning of the tomb of Tutankhamun for the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), click here.
To see the arabic version of the full report on the scanning of the tomb of Tutankhamun for the SCA, click here

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