Sphinxlike: the lights go up on a pounds 2m facelift

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The Independent Online
CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egypt feted the newly restored Sphinx last night in a lavish, star- studded celebration at the pyramids at Giza overlooking the ancient man- lion structure.

President Hosni Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne, were hosting a party, entertained by a sound and light show detailing the Sphinx's 4,500-year- old tale.

Egyptian archaeologists and architects have spent 10 years repairing the ravages of erosion and rising damp and removing concrete used in earlier work to fix the soft stone structure.

The government hopes the pounds 1.9m restoration will lure more tourists to the Giza plateau and recoup some of the losses Egypt's vital tourism industry suffered after Islamic militants killed 58 holidaymakers in Luxor last November.