Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism announced on Saturday that it had formed a study commission following the dispute that arose over the renovation of the Mykerinos pyramid on the Giza plateau.
Just over a week ago, on January 25, Egyptian Antiquities chief Mostafa Waziri released a video showing workers aligning granite blocks at the base of the lowest of the three Giza pyramids. Many Egyptologists and Egyptians immediately rose up to condemn the attack on the heritage and called on UNESCO and academics to mobilize.
Seeking to ease the controversy in a country where the tourism sector accounts for 10% of GDP, the ministry announced on Saturday, February 3 that “a high-level scientific committee chaired by Zahi Hawass”, the country’s Egyptologist was going to study this renovation project “with Egyptian, American, Czech and German engineering and archeology experts.” “A decision will be made on whether to implement this project or not” renovation, the ministry confirms, adding that the committee will also have to take care of it “procedures necessary for coordination with UNESCO”.
At the base of the Mykerinos pyramid, however, AFP journalists have already noted that work has been underway over the past week.
Pyramid of Mikerinos: put back (or not) the granite
When it was built, the base of the pyramid of Mykerinos was covered with granite. It has lost some of its coating over time. The current project aims to restore this layer of granite to restore the pyramid to its original appearance.
The issue of cultural heritage preservation in Egypt – especially at the site of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still visible today – is often the subject of heated debate. The recent destruction of entire parts of historic Cairo has strongly mobilized civil society, which is almost banned from political activity and which now focuses most of its fight against the regime in the areas of urban planning and heritage.