Access concerns over Valley of the Kings Tombs

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The tombs in the Valley of the Kings could vanish within 150 to 500 years due to tourism, according to Egypt's head of antiquities Zahi Hawass; he explained that the walls of the tombs are being damaged by humidity and fungus as a result of tourists visitor levels, coupled with poor ventilation.

'The tombs [in the Valley of the Kings and nearby Valley of the Queens] which are open to visitors are facing severe damage to both colours and the engravings,' he said. 'The levels of humidity and fungus are increasing because of the breath of visitors and this means that the tombs could disappear between 150 and 500 years.'

Egypt's authorities have taken action to protect the tombs by implementing new ventilation systems and setting a cap on visitor numbers.

Some tombs have also been closed and Mr Hawass said that the decision had been to taken to 'replace them by identical replicas,' including those of Tutenkhamun and Nefertiti.