Egyptian pyramid renovations fuel outrage: ‘Why not wallpaper?’

Click to play video: '‘Project of the century’ or pointless restoration? Egyptian pyramid renovation triggers anger'
‘Project of the century’ or pointless restoration? Egyptian pyramid renovation triggers anger
WATCH: 'Project of the century' or pointless restoration? Egyptian pyramid renovation triggers anger – Jan 30, 2024

Egypt’s Menkaure pyramid is already starting to look different as workers attempt to give the ancient structure a facelift by lining the pyramid in large granite blocks.

For Mostafa Waziri, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, renovating Egypt’s Pyramid of Menkaure is “the project of the century” — but his opponents have insisted the ordeal is nothing short of horrifying.

On Friday, Waziri shared video footage of labourers setting rows of granite blocks at the base of the pyramid in front of a curious crowd of onlookers. In the video, Waziri is seen explaining the process to those watching on.

According to Agence France-Presse, the renovation project was enacted in an attempt to resurrect the pyramid’s original appearance, as it was once encased in an external layer of granite that has been lost over time.

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The video shared by Waziri has already attracted outrage from both members of the international archeological community and people who oppose altering the iconic pyramids.

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“Impossible!” Egyptologist Monica Hanna wrote, as per AFP. “The only thing missing was to add tiling to the pyramid of Menkaure! When are we going to stop the absurdity in the management of Egyptian heritage?”

Workers watch as a stone is lifted by a crane during a conservation project by the base of the Pyramid of Menkaure on Jan. 29, 2024. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP via Getty Images

Hanna said the international archaeological community should “mobilise immediately” in response to the renovations.

Other laymen critics of the project chided in the comments of Waziri’s post that he may try to correct the leaning Tower of Pisa’s famous tilt next.

“Rather than tiles, why not wallpaper the pyramids?” commented another sarcastic critic.

The renovation project on the Menkaure pyramid is expected to last three years and is being carried out jointly by a group of Egyptian-Japanese archeologists and officials.

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The Menkaure pyramid is the smallest of the three main pyramids at Giza. Built by the pharaoh Menkaure, the pyramid sits beside the Khafre and Cheops pyramids, near Egypt’s legendary sphynx.

The Menkaure pyramid is known for a large gash in its north side. The hole reportedly appeared after Al-Aziz Uthman, the then-Sultan of Egypt, ordered the pyramids to come down in the 12th century.

Workers started by dismantling Menkaure’s pyramid, but stopped after eight months when the project decidedly became too costly and time-consuming. The gash in the Menkaure pyramid is all Uthman’s workers accomplished in their demolition.

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