The Holy of the Holies on the third-floor of the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut at al-Deir al-Bahari, west of Luxor, is now open to tourists. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani officially opened it after several years of restoration works done under the supervision of the Polish archaeological expedition which has worked in the region since 1961.
Mr Anani said the restoration included the three-storey temple, its floor, and columns, as well as very fine restoration of the inscriptions and the colours of the Sanctuary of the sun god Amun-Ra located in the middle of the west wall of the Upper Courtyard of the Temple. The walls and the niches for the statues of the members of the royal family were also restored, he said.
The Holy of the Holies includes scenes that depict the Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut offering sacrifices to the gods.
The opening ceremony was among a big event attended by Luxor Governor Muhammad Badr; Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Supreme Council of Antiquities; a number of MPs and members of the diplomatic corps in Egypt.
Upon request of MP Sahar Talaat Mustafa, head of travel committee in the House of Representatives, it has been approved that the Holy of Holies would be open visitors free of charge for a limited period.
The Polish-Egyptian Conservation Mission at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahari was founded in 1961 by Professor Kazimierz Michałowski. Since then, archaeologists, restorers and architects associated with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw have been documenting and reconstructing the temple.