CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt said on Sunday it will restrict the number of visitors to the tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings to 400 a day from next month.
It also plans to close the tomb to visitors indefinitely from May next year in order to carry out restoration work, Supreme Council for Antiquities secretary general Zahi Hawass said in a statement.
"The tomb receives a lot of visitors and is considered one of the most famous pharaonic tombs in the valley of the kings," Hawass said.
The true face of ancient Egypt's boy king was revealed last week to the public for the first time since he died more than 3,000 years ago.
The pharaoh's mummy was moved from its ornate sarcophagus in the tomb where its 1922 discovery caused an international sensation to a nearby climate-controlled case where experts say it will be better preserved.
Made pharaoh at the age of nine, Tutankhamun became famous with the discovery of his tomb and the treasures within by Briton Howard Carter.
Every day hundreds of visitors file through his tomb in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor, bringing with them into the royal tomb bacteria, humidity and other pollutants.
"The mummy risked being reduced to dust because of the rising levels of humidity due to the visitors," Hawass when the face was revealed.
When the tomb was discovered, the pharaoh's embalmed body was encased in three sarcophagi, one of which was made from solid gold.
Tutankhamun, the 12th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, reigned for 10 years.