It’s fair enough not to be allowed to snap away inside the tombs of the Valley of the Kings (unless you’re Sandro Vannini , see why here). Flash photography – and that’s what you’ll need – can have a damaging effect on the delicate tomb paintings, some of which are around 4,000 years old. But jobsworth Egyptian officials denying you a snapshot outside the tombs? According to Egypt’s antiquities chief Zahi Hawass, that’s not on. The SCA boss has come out this week to smash claims his men are forbidding photography outside some of Egypt’s biggest attractions including the pyramids, Sphinx and Luxor Temple.
“It is allowed to take pictures for the open monuments area,” says Dr Hawass via an Egyptian Culture Ministry statement. He adds that any guide denying open pictures will face charges, as they are a vital part of tourists’ memories of Egypt. Dr Hawass will be anxious to curry favour with Egypt’s massive tourist population. Just under 13million people visited the country last year, raking in a shade under $11billion (6.66billion). Global tourist numbers are expected to top one billion people this year, with a revenue of around $1,000billion (605billion). Egypt’s tourist guides don’t have the best of reputations, having been known to point people in the wrong direction and demand money for just about anything.
Do you think tourists should pay for photography, wherever they are? Or do you think we should all be able to snap away in and outside tombs for free? Maybe you’ve got a story about Egyptian tour guides – Have your say at Heritage Key – either via the , our contact page or by emailing me direct.