Egypt grants free admission to Pyramids to mark World Heritage Day
Tourists ride camels at Giza Pyramids - AP

CAIRO: Egypt’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Giza Pyramids, were opened to the public for free Saturday only for World Heritage Day, which occurs every year April 18, Antiquities Ministry Mamdouh al-Damaty announced Thursday.

“The sites will open for free, during official working hours, for both Egyptians and tourists. The decision is not only to celebrate the World Heritage Day but also to encourage tourists to visit these unrivaled sites,” said Damaty.

It is also to encourage Egyptians to know more about their history, said Damaty.

There are seven World Heritage sites in Egypt, only one of which is a natural site: the Wadi al-Hitan or (Valley of the Whales,) a paleontological site located some 135 kilometers southwest of Cairo. It houses hundreds of fossils of some of the earliest forms of whales.

The other World Heritage sites are: Memphis and its Necropolis, the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshour, The Abu Mena Monastery, Ancient Thebes (modern Luxor,) Historic Cairo, the Saint Catherine area in the Sinai Peninsula, and finally the Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae.

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