A Sarcophagus believed to contain an Egyptian nobleman will be opened on Live TV during a special broadcast by the American channel Discovery.

The two-hour ''Expedition Unknown : Egypt Live'' will air live from the site outside Minya, which is along the Nile River south of Cairo and Giza pyramids.

Egypt has sought to promote archaeological  discoveries across the country in a bid to revive tourism hit by turmoil after the  2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

The country's Supreme Council of  Antiquities declined to comment, even though  Discovery announced that council head Mostafa Waziri would be present for the event.

The site containing the Sarcophagus was discovered in February last year, and a Discovery spokesman told AFP that the project was set up in collaboration with Egypt's Antiquities ministry.

Archeologists at the site recently discovered a  network of vertical  network of vertical shafts leading to a network of of tunnels and tombs containing containing 40 mummies ''believed to be  part of the noble elite.''

In one of those, a limestone sarcophagus holding a  3,000- year old mummy to be opened during the show. Discovery declined to disclose the identity of the mummy prior to the broadcast.

Prominent Egyptian archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Haws will also participate, Discovery previously announced.

Asked by AFP about a possible  financial deal between the channel and Egyptian state for permission to film and open the grave, the spokesman for Discovery refused all comment.

''It's a a media spectacle in the end, but it could make people love antiquities and is a good promotional opportunity for tourism, if done right,'' an Egyptian archeologist  who asked to remain anonymous told AFP.

She said the broadcasters should not open the tomb without providing solid archaeological  context, but  ''the main problem'' is something else.

''If money is being paid to by a major channel to the ministry to show antiquities, where is it going to end up?'' the archeologist asked. [Agencies]


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