Plans to renovate a Giza pyramid by Egypt have caused anger among archaeologists and the general public alike.
The plan by the Egyptian government revolves around the Pyramid of Menkaure – the smallest of the three pyramids in the Giza complex. Broadly, the plan aims to reconstruct the outer casing of granite along the four walls of the pyramid. The leading theory among archaeologists suggests that the pyramids were originally encased in a layer of white granite which has since been eroded over thousands of years.
The plan is a joint collaboration between Egypt and Japan. The project will use the original blocks of rocks that are scattered around the structure. These blocks were once part of the pyramid but were dislodged after a major earthquake hit the area. Originally, 16 blocks made up the outer casing of the pyramid, but only seven survive today. The project is already in works and workers are at the site doing restoration works.
However, the issue started when Mostafa Waziri (Secretary-General, Supreme Council of Antiquities) posted a video on Friday showing workers working on the project. The video soon went viral and drew the ire of archaeologists and Egyptologists. The general outrage was at the fact that heritage sites as important as the Egyptian pyramids should not be subjected to renovations of this magnitude. Maybe people mocked the project, comparing it to “straightening the Tower of Pisa”. Others pointed out the massive cost of the project when Egypt is already lagging behind $32 billion in loan repayments. However, the Egyptian authorities stood firm on their stance, further clarifying that Japan would be bearing the restoration costs in the first year.