A replica of Tutankhamun's tomb is being opened in a bid to preserve the world famous attraction for future generations of tourists and help attract more British visitors to Egypt.
The opening of the replica tomb, created over several years using high-tech three-dimensional scanners, coincides with Egypt's tourism minister highlighting his country's continuing popularity among British holidaymakers.
Speaking at the World Travel Market in London, the minister, Hisham Zaazou, said a third of Brits who'd visited Egypt had returned for at least two more visits.
He said the country's popularity was down to the diversity of its attractions, which range from historical and cultural landmarks such as the Pyramids and Luxor's Valley of the Kings to its beach resorts.
Mr Zaazou said Egypt was the most popular destination in Africa and the Middle East for tourists, adding that its location made it the "ideal medium-haul" holiday spot for Britons.
And Egypt's popularity is set to be boosted by the opening of the new replica tomb, situated near British archaeologist Howard Carter's house and about half a mile from where Tutankhamun's real tomb lies in the Valley of the Kings.
Produced by Madrid-based company Factum Arte, the replica has been created in an effort to help preserve the original, 3,000-year-old crumbling chamber.
In what was to become one of the most significant Egyptian excavations ever carried out, Carter discovered the Egyptian pharaoh's tomb in November 1922.
Adam Lowe, a Briton working for Factum Arte, said it was hoped the replica would become as popular as the real thing with tourists visiting it becoming "part of the force that protects it [the original] rather than a force that is leading to its destruction".
Tutankhamun - also known as King Tut and The Boy King - ruled Egypt for nine years until 1323BC when he died at the age of about 18.
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