British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves has claimed that the tomb of the famous Egyptian queen Nefertiti lies behind the walls of King Tutankhamun's tomb, which has peaked the interest of the whole world.
Although I believe that there are no hidden tombs behind the walls of Tutankhamun's tomb, and although I have refuted this scientifically unsupported claim in Egyptian and foreign newspapers, I did say that the enthusiasm this claim has created is in the best interest of Egypt’s tourism, as people everywhere like to hear about hidden treasures. But unfortunately, the Egyptian officials have wasted this golden opportunity.
The Antiquities Ministry has allowed Reeves and Hirokatsu Watanabe, a Japanese Egyptologist who shares Reeves' views, to conduct a sonar examination of Tutankhamun’s tomb walls, despite the fact that I had already headed an Egyptian excavation mission in the Valley of the Kings and proved that the claim was invalid.
Perhaps the ministry should have assigned a neutral team to conduct the examination so as to assert credibility. For it will be Egypt and not Reeves and Watanabe that will be hurt if the tomb is not found.
It is also sad that the minister formed a committee that did not include anyone with experience in the Valley of the Kings or Tutankhamun's tomb, but included the former director of the Egyptian Museum who has never published any scientific research about the Valley of the Kings or the tomb of Tutankhamun. Also, the minister did not include Geoffrey Martin, who is Reeves' senior and knows him well.
Moreover, the Ministry said it would announce the results of the search in a press conference early October from the headquarters of the State Information Service because it is equipped with a simultaneous translation facility.
What is this?
Gentlemen, please hold the conference at the Valley of the Kings and in front of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Please make people everywhere in the world see the Egyptian sun's golden rays reflected on the tombs of the Pharaohs. Do not waste this opportunity.
It is not too late to prevent a scandal.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm