Egyptian King’s Tomb Restored after a Decade-Long Project

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. artifact / ˈɑːr.t̬ə.fækt / (n) – an item that was made by people from a long time ago

    The artifacts from the 12th century are displayed at the museum.

  2. mural / ˈmjɚrəl / (n) – an artwork painted on a wall

    My bedroom wall has a mural.

  3. touch up / tʌtʃ ʌp / (phrasal) – to fix some damages on the surface of something

    The painter touched up his old artwork.

  4. accumulate / əˈkjuːmjəˌleɪt / (v) – to collect something over a period of time

    We have accumulated a lot of garbage over the years.

  5. lifelike / ˈlaɪfˌlaɪk / (adj) – very similar to a person or thing

    The sculpture of the king is so lifelike that I thought it was actually him.


Read the text below.

The decade-long restoration of an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb finally ended in January.

The tomb of Tutankhamun [toot-ahng-kah-MUHN] or King Tut was discovered in 1922. Since then, it has become a popular tourist attraction in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Unfortunately, the constant entry of people caused damages to the tomb’s 3,000-year-old structures, artifacts, and treasures.

To repair the damages, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities partnered with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), an organization that works to preserve cultural heritage, in 2009. Apart from fixing the damages, the two institutions wanted to protect the tomb from further deterioration.

During the restoration work, the experts from the GCI focused on fixing the scratches to the murals, which show King Tut’s life. They touched up the murals and removed dust that had accumulated over the years.

The experts also upgraded the tomb’s infrastructure. They set up barriers to restrict tourists from accessing the paintings and added a viewing platform, new walkways, signs, and lights. An air filtration system was also installed to control humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and dust in the tomb.

After the restoration was completed, the site was reopened to the public.

Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist, commended the massive restoration project, saying that it had saved King Tut’s tomb. However, he warned that if large groups of tourists continue to visit the site, it will face fast deterioration. Hence, he recommended either limiting the number of tourists or completely closing the tomb to the public. He urged people to visit a lifelike replica of the tomb nearby instead.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, do you think limiting the number of visiting tourists will preserve King Tut’s tomb? Why or why not?
• If you were given the opportunity, would you visit King Tut’s tomb? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What are some negative effects of tourism on a tourist attraction? Discuss.
• How can these negative effects be prevented?