King Tut, as he has come to be known, was an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who took to the throne at just eight years old and died mysteriously less than a decade later. His incredible tomb, KV62, was discovered in the Valley of the Kings by Howard Carter in 1922, along with more than 5,000 artefacts. But, within months of opening the boy king’s sarcophagus, six archaeologists died, as well as Lord Carnarvon – the sponsor of the expedition – in what came to be known as the curse of the Pharaohs.
While the treasures of the tomb have travelled the world, King Tut has stayed put, but now controversial plans to move him from Luxor to the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo have been confirmed for May, sparking anguish among locals.
Egyptologist Ahmed Rabie Mohamed, told The Sun last week: “If Tutankhamun leaves Luxor everybody in Luxor will be so sad because Tutankhamun has always been here.
“Since they discovered the tomb in 1922, he never ever left his tomb.
“Even when the mummy is examined that is done here in the Valley of the Kings.
Tutankhamun’s body will be moved
Tutankhamun has remained in his coffin for thousands of years
Don’t disturb him
“They bring the X-ray machines to the Valley of the Kings so he never ever left.
“People talk on social media about the mummy leaving to the Grand Museum.”
Mr Mohamed, who is also a tour guide in Luxor, fears the move could lead to a drop in tourism in the area.
He added: “I think for the opening of the museum they want the masterpiece to make it attractive but Egypt is very rich in history, there are so many masterpieces.
“Already Tutankhamun’s chariots have been taken from Luxor Museum to the Grand Museum and 36 coffins we found in Luxor about two months ago have been taken to the new museum.
The curse of the Pharaoh’s became well known
“Also, some beautiful pieces from Luxor Museum have been taken.
“If Tutankhamun leaves Luxor everyone will be sad because he’s our only royal mummy that you can see in the Valley of the Kings.
“It costs 300 Egyptian Pounds to go inside Tutankhamun’s tomb.
“If they take the mummy out no one will want to go in as they can go to the new museum.”
But, Mr Mohamed thinks there is a chance the move will be stopped.
He continued: “You’ll see nothing inside because everything has been moved to the museum in Cairo. There is nothing left except for the mummy.
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The Grand Egyptian Museum is under construction
Some of Tut’s artifacts have already travelled there
“The tomb will lose its value and be like the other tombs in the Valley of Kings.
“I think there is a chance he won’t be moved and I hope so.
“From the point of view of an Egyptologist, he should stay here, don’t disturb him.
“I think they should move more of it back here. Bring more to Luxor, don’t take from Luxor.”
Dr Eltayeb Abbas, the director of archaeological affairs at the Grand Egyptian Museum, disagrees.
He says that Tutankhamun himself would want to be moved to Cairo.
He explained: “We are going to bring the mummy in May this year from the Valley of the Kings.
“All the collections of the king are here in the Grand Egyptian Museum.
“They’re all under one roof, I think Tutankhamun himself would be happy to have his mummy here.
“People are even arguing about the coffins but we had to take the outermost coffin here because it was in a bad state of preservation.
The sites of ancient Egypt
“We have been working on it for eight months.”
When asked about the curse of the Pharaohs, Dr Abbas said: “I know there are cursed texts and the Egyptians really believed in the power of the word.
“So they were thinking that by reciting a text that would let things become real.
“But for us, I wouldn’t say so. I am a villager coming from the west bank [of Luxor] and my family and all the people are believing in the existence of a curse.
“So I don’t have to believe but I have to respect the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and the existence of a curse.”