Monday, December 04, 2006

After decades of trying, Egypt says residents who live above ancient Luxor tombs will move
The Egyptian government has been trying since World War II to move the people who live in the hills above Luxor's West Bank to give tourists and archaeologists access to the nearly 1,000 Pharaonic tombs that lie beneath their homes.

After decades of failed negotiations, officials said on Saturday that most of 3,200 families that own the brightly painted, mud-brick homes over the tombs have agreed to pack up and move to a newly constructed US$32 million (€24.16 million) complex located less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the hillside.

"Most of them want to leave and they demand to leave," said Rania Yusuf, a spokeswoman for Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities in Luxor.

Only a few families continue to resist the move, "and they will leave, believe me," she said.