Archaeologists Express Frustration Over Egypt’s Plan to Restore Pyramid of Menkaure With Granite

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A major restoration project is underway to repair one of Egypt’s famed pyramids, despite frustration from the archaeology community. The efforts are led by Mostafa Waziri, Egypt’s secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who is working with Japanese archaeologists to encase the Pyramid of Menkaure’s outer shell with granite. Videos have already surfaced online with cranes lifting sand blocks from around the site.

The initiative is being viewed by its organizers as “Egypt’s gift to the world”, said Waziri. In that, the nation has the ambitious plan to restore the original granite blocks that once covered the Pyramid of Menkaure’s outer shell, which has been destroyed or severely deteriorated over the thousands of years since its construction in 2510 BC.

Not everyone is as excited as Waziri, especially conservationists. “The only thing missing was to add tiling to the Pyramid of Menkaure!” joked Egyptologist Monica Hanna, adding, “When are we going to stop the absurdity in the management of Egyptian heritage?” Others on social media equated the project to straightening Italy’s Tower of Pisa.

Expected to take roughly three years to complete, the restoration project is still in its early stages and will reportedly require the team to first study, document and classify the blocks needed through rigorous scans. “No action will be taken until the study is completed and no blocks will be reinstalled until the [international] committee determines so,” Waziri tells CBS News.

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