Lights on for Luxor

Nevine El-Aref, Monday 29 Nov 2010

Luxor’s new west bank lighting system is now operational, providing a dramatic night view of the city's monuments


Luxor’s night scenery now looks completely different. The city's visitors can easily admire Hatshepsut’s temple, the Valley of Kings and Queens, as well as the noblemen’s tombs while strolling along the east bank of the Nile at night. With a budget of LE56 million, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), in collaboration with Egypt’s Sound and Light organization and French lighting company Architecture Lumière, succeeded in instaling 922 lighting units in different locations along the city's west bank mountains, offering a new service to Luxor’s visitors, stated Culture Minister Farouk Hosni.

Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, stated that the aim of the project is to preserve the tombs and temples located on Luxor’s west bank. The large number of visitors that flock to these monuments will now be distributed throughout the day, from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. This, Hawass added, will reduce the level of humidity inside the tombs, which negatively affect paintings inside them. Hawass explains that the new lighting system will also provide a beautiful and dramatic scene at night for pedestrians walking along the Nile boardwalk on the east bank in Luxor.

Major General Essam Abdel Hadi, Head of the Egypt Sound and Light organization, says that the 922 lighting units have been carefully installed on Luxor’s west bank using a GPS system in order to navigate Luxor’s rocky west bank. The lighting units can withstand high temperatures and dryness and are erosion reistant.

Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Antiquities at the SCA, says the project covers the west bank mountains, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the noblemen’s tombs, the northern side of Al-Qurna, and Hatshepsut’s temple.

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