Valuable Paintings In The Sahara Desert Are Threatened By Tourist Flows

Tourist flows threaten valuable paintings in the Sahara desert of Cairo (AFP) – you have survived thousands of years. But now float the cave paintings in a remote Sahara in serious danger. More and more tourists find their way into the mountains of GILF Kabir and Jebel Ouenat in southwestern of Egypt, where they want to look at the beautiful paintings of prehistoric man and animals. But not all visitors will appreciate the value of these works of art. The most paintings are from a time when the desert was still a receding Prairie. 5000 to 7000 years it’s been. Today, the masterpieces, which is impressive in its simplicity, the tourists are vulnerable.

The rock art is on the border of Egypt, Sudan and Libya. The often fractious countries would have to cooperate to protect them effectively. The extent of the damage was dramatic, accuses the German archaeologist Rudolph Kuper, who tried to protect the art. Some people dripping water or oil on the paintings to bring them to the light. He thus Damage is irreparable.

It’s even worse in Libya, where the sensitive paintings were shot at Ain Dua apparently by bored soldiers. Very near the trash piles up in a painted cave. Up to 10,000 dollars (7,000 euros) paying tourists for a two-week desert expedition to GILF Kabir, located 500 kilometers from the nearest residence. With their cave paintings, the “cave made famous in the film”The English patient”the float” located here. Only a handful of visitors came in the 80s the numbers have increased steadily in the 1990s years. Many of the millions of tourists who visit Egypt today want more than Beach and hotel. 2006, according to Kuper, about 800 tourists came to the paintings. This year there were already more than a thousand. And the people leave tracks. Not even the world-famous hieroglyphics on the MERIS rock northeast of GILF Kabir, cross reporting by a major trade route through the desert in the age of the Pharaohs, it arrived: last year verschandelte the ancient scripture of someone with a carved image of a topless woman. “You can build a barbed wire”, Kuper notes sober. Instead, tour guides and tourists would have to be trained. Also, Saad Ali, a young tour operator and head of an environmental organization, relies on insight. Regularly he gathered with his cohorts in the desert waste, and it more was from year to year. “We have noticed that the guide must be clarified,” he reported. Hicham aboutaam insists that this is the case. His account seems to be: “last year we collected 4.5 tons of waste. The year before that it was still eleven tons”, he says. As next wants Saad Ali now Cairo from taking employees guide in the prayer. These would often have no idea what damage they caused. Police controls in the militarily sensitive border area are currently difficult. However, it remains the hope that the area is recognised by UNESCO as a cross-border world heritage. But that would require that the three countries individual National parks are, what has made so far only Egypt. However, currently joint efforts for the protection of works of art run. The Egyptian environment agency plans a museum with information centre in the oasis of Dakhla, from where to start the most trips to GILF Kabir, meanwhile, with the assistance of the Antiquities and the archaeologists Kuper. “We hope that we can put our dreams into reality and can explain the relationship between man and the desert in the Museum,” says Mustafa Fouda from the environmental protection agency. It should go to protect of the desert and their art.