airport in order to spend a couple of hours at the temples.
However, since the Arab Spring reached Egypt in 2011, the number of tourists has fallen drastically; the disturbances have frightened most tourists off. But it could have been worse. Because with another kind of politicaldevelopment in Egypt – or if Abu Simbel had been located somewhere else in the Middle East – the temples might have been deliberately blown up or bombed more or less fortuitously, as has happened to monuments in Afghanistan, Mali, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
The international campaign
memorials came from Pierre Nora’s project Les Lieux de mémoire ( 1984 (French); 1989 (English), Realms of Memory ).
The social, economic, and politicaldevelopments of the 1970s and 1980s formed a direct precondition for the emergence of critical heritage. Those were turbulent decades during which countries in the West were affected by a lack of belief in progress as well as by oil crises, deindustrialisation, and neoliberalism. There was also a shift in the use of the past from knowledge to experience and reflection – and a shift to new forms of mediation