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Egyptologist Demands 'Stop the Absurdity' After Project Covers Ancient Pyramid in Granite: 'Why Not Wallpaper'

Block Project at Egyptian Pyramid Upsets Archeologists
Source: MEGA

The Great Pyramids of Giza are a major tourist attraction in Egypt.

Feb. 10 2024, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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In a contemporary twist on ancient history, a well-known pyramid in Egypt is undergoing a modern transformation that could be called "Extreme Makeover: Pyramid Edition."

The head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities recently shared a video showcasing the ongoing project, drawing the attention of both curious tourists and staunch traditionalists.

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Mostafa Waziry detailed how workers are meticulously placing granite blocks around the base of the Pyramid of Menkaure, aiming to restore it to its original appearance.

The decision to encompass the Pyramid of Menkaure with granite stems from the wear and tear inflicted by time on the ancient stones, as explained by Global News of Canada.

Despite the restoration's intention to revive historical authenticity, dissenting voices have emerged within the realm of Egyptology.

Monica Hanna, an outspoken critic, dismissed the endeavor as "impossible," likening it to adding tiles to the pyramid. She voiced concerns about the handling of Egypt's heritage, stating, "When are we going to stop the absurdity in the management of Egyptian heritage?"

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Waziry shared the video on Facebook, inviting a barrage of criticism. A skeptic humorously suggested, "Rather than tiles, why not wallpaper the pyramids?"

Collaborative efforts between Egyptian and Japanese archaeologists and workers are driving the project, involving the excavation and reinstallation of blocks, potentially uncovering artifacts in the process.

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Waziry, labeling it as the "project of the century," estimates a three-year timeline for completion. However, Hanna condemns the work, asserting that it violates "all international principles on renovations."

With 124 pyramids in Egypt, Menkaure's structure stands out as the sole pyramid originally constructed with granite blocks surrounding it.

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Waziry contends that the pyramid initially boasted at least 16 rows of granite, but only five to eight rows remain today. Skepticism lingers, with Dr. Mohamed Abd el-Maqsoud, a former director of Egypt's Antiquities Sector, urging caution and suggesting a thorough examination of the blocks before proceeding.

Waziry, in response to concerns, assures that no blocks will be reset without examination from an international committee.

While the Menkaure pyramid shows signs of wear, particularly on its north side, where a hole appeared in the 1100s due to a sultan's attempt to demolish it, the restoration faces scrutiny and skepticism regarding its adherence to international standards.

It remains unclear whether Waziry has plans for similar upgrades to the other two pyramids of Giza, Cheops and Khafre.

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