Which would you rather visit – a fake tomb or a real one?”

Tomb of Tutankhamun

Tomb of Tutankhamun (Photo credit: Son of Groucho)

What is it about seeing the genuine article which is so special?  Is there something to be gained by visiting the real Tutankhamun’s tomb rather than a perfect replica, or seeing the real Mona Lisa instead of a perfect copy?


The Price of Reality

The tomb.
A room in decay.
The price of reality,
the guilt of authenticity.
Create a copy
or enjoy and destroy?




7th November 2013 – headline from the BBC

Notes:  “Which would you rather visit – a fake tomb or a real one?”  A replica of King Tutankhamun’s tomb is about to open in Egypt, and the authorities are hoping tourists will choose to visit this copy instead of the original.  It’s not the first time such steps have been taken to protect a historical site – and some reproductions are very popular.  Tutankhamun’s tomb lay untouched for more than 3,000 years until the British archaeologist, Howard Carter, uncovered it in 1922.  It was virtually intact – the best preserved tomb found in the Valley of the Kings.  Fast forward to 2013 and the state of the tomb is causing deep concern.  Although Egypt’s political unrest has reduced the flow of tourists, there have been times when more than 1,000 people a day have traipsed through it.  As people enter, temperature and humidity levels change, making the walls expand and contract.  As a result, the elaborately decorated plaster is coming away from the rock face.


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