Egypt reopens century-old road to the Valley of the Kings

Image copyright AFP Image caption Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen climbing a pyramid in one of the pictures taken by AFP

Egypt has reopened a millennia-old road to the Valley of the Kings, part of its restoration programme to pay for the reconstruction of destroyed monuments.

The Avenue of the Sphinxes runs from Cairo to Luxor, and was closed to visitors in 1993.

The preservation project began in 2017, with the help of US funds and money from foundations, companies and individuals.

Egypt has said it will use $8bn (£6.6bn) of foreign funds to modernise its cultural and historic sites.

Mr Sisi, a hardline president, led the mass killings of civilian protesters after the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, when millions took to the streets to demand the ousting of then-President Hosni Mubarak.

Image copyright AFP Image caption The long, narrow length of the avenue can barely hold an ambulance

At the time of the 2011 uprising, Mr Sisi had already become an international figurehead, with admirers pointing to his modernising reforms and reputation as a man of peace.

Many Egyptians have since seen him as a ruthless man who only speaks softly to protect his power.

When Mr Sisi first came to power in 2014, the British Museum in London described his overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood as a “sudden jumble of crisis”.

Image copyright AFP Image caption A picture taken by AFP shows Mr Sisi sharing a joke with a member of staff

Mr Sisi’s popularity rose however when he helped to rescue ancient ruin sites from looters, and fought jihadist attacks.

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