Luxor Bazaar owners cut off the road leading to the city’s West Bank on Sunday, which includes prominent touristic monuments such as the Hatshepsut Temple, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, in a move to pressure the government to exempt them from paying their bazaar rents, said head of the Bazaar Owners Association Bakri Abdel Gelil.
Luxor is one of Egypt’s main tourist attractions and has frequently been characterised as the “world’s greatest open air museum”.
As a result of this action by Bazaar owners, all tourist visits directed to the West Bank temples and monuments have been halted.
“Our problem is mainly with ministries of local development, antiquities and tourism,” said Abdel Gelil. “We demand to be completely exempted from rent fees, since our trade has suffered since the 25 January Revolution.”
“The Ministry of Antiquities exempted the rental fees before from February 2011 to February 2012 only, but now there’s no exemption at all,” said Abdel Gelil.
He added that several verdicts have been issued against around 500 bazaar owners, including prison incarceration and dismissal. (Daily news Egypt)