The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) is embarking on a six-year partnership with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) on the conservation and management of Egypt's Valley of the Queens. The Valley is located on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor (ancient Thebes), which is also the site of the Valley of the Kings, famous for the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The GCI will be working with the SCA on developing and implementing a plan for the Valley of the Queens to address some of the threats to the site, which include natural forces (particularly flooding) and mass tourism. The Institute will coordinate its work with other projects and organizations already working in the area.
In addition to the development of a conservation and management plan for the Valley of the Queens—which will involve the assessment of some eighty ancient tombs at the site—an important part of the project will be training for Egyptian professionals. This will include a training program in site planning and implementation, as well as a separate program for SCA wall painting conservators.
The Valley of the Queens Project is the GCI's latest collaborative project with Egypt. Twenty years ago, Institute staff worked with Egyptian colleagues and an international conservation team on the conservation of the wall paintings in the tomb of Queen Nefertari, the powerful queen of ruler Ramses II. The thirteenth-century B.C. tomb, considered among the most beautiful to have survived from Egyptian antiquity, is located in the Valley of the Queens.
Other GCI collaborative work with Egyptian authorities has included the development of oxygen-free display and storage cases for the Royal Mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, an environmental monitoring study of the Great Sphinx at the Giza Plateau outside Cairo, and preparatory work for the conservation of the tomb of Tutankhamun.