Egypt restores the ancient road linking the temples of Luxor and Karnak | Egypt
A restored road connecting two ancient Egyptian temple complexes in Karnak and Luxor was revealed in a lavish ceremony aimed at raising the image of one of the most important tourist sites in Egypt.
Thursday’s procession to reopen the 1.7-mile (2.7 km) road included a re-enactment of the ancient Opet festival, where statues of the Theban deities were displayed annually during the New Kingdom to celebrate the fertility and flood of the Nile.
The Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, walked along the road at the start of the ceremony. Pharaonic carriages and more than 400 young artists wearing pharaonic costumes paraded along the street.
The 3,400-year-old road that connects the ancient centers of Karnak and Luxor, also known as the Road of Rams or Street of the Sphinx, is lined with hundreds of sphinxes with human and ram heads, though many have been eroded over the years or destroyed.
The road has undergone several restoration efforts since its discovery in 1949, the last of which began in 2017.
Tourism is an important source of jobs and hard currency for Egypt, which has made concerted efforts to lure travelers who have given up on the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, 22 ancient royal mummies from Luxor and the Valley of the Kings near the Egyptian Museum in Cairo were presented to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.
Tourism revenue in Egypt fell to around $4 billion (£3 billion) in 2020, down from $13 billion in 2019.