Egyptian Government Confirms Luxor Water Threat
Egypt’s Secretary General of the Higher Council for Antiquities Gaballah Ali Gaballah has confirmed that his council is fully aware of the sub-surface water problem that threatens Karnak Temple and other attractions in Luxor.
He was quoted by the Arabic daily Al Ahram as saying that an agreement had been signed with a Swedish company two years ago to study water in the area, which may have come from nearby cane cultivation in addition to sub-surface water.
An MP representing Luxor, Bahaiddin Abu Hamad, has repeatedly demanded immediate intervention to save Luxor. He blasted the Egyptian Ministry of Culture for issuing a costly newspaper while failing to pay attention to the dangers facing Luxor's antiquities.
Gaballah said many factors had changed in the city, resulting in water stagnation in the archeological sites and the High Dam.
This, he said, was in addition to population growth in the areas east of the Nile, where the land slopes towards the temples.
“Therefore, water in the area is affected by the increasing [volumes of] wastewater,” he said.
The floors in the temples, which are composed of stones and sand, have in turn absorbed water and become more elevated, thus affecting the temples’ sculptures.
Gaballah said that the council had not received a prompt response from the Egyptian Underground Institute, which demanded a great deal of money for conducting the necessary studies.
Therefore, the deputy said, they had sought the help of the Swedish institute, which demanded less money for the study. He indicated that the council still had to pay to acquire the houses around the temples, with each house to cost more than one million pounds. Houses stretching over an area of three kilometers had to be evacuated, he added -- Albawaba.com
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