Egypt Abandons Plans to Renovate Pyramid of Menkaure

Egypt has abandoned its previous plans to renovate the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of three pyramids in the Giza complex. The project was scrapped following a negative response by the review committee.

The pyramid of Menkaure was built in honor of pharaoh Menkaure, a ruler of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt, around 2500 BC. However, it was never actually finished. It is estimated that 16 to 18 layers of granite blocks were put in place at the pyramid’s outer walls before Menkaure died and the construction came to a halt. The unused granite blocks were left scattered around the base of the pyramid.

Currently, only seven layers of granite blocks forming the pyramid’s outer walls remain, with the rest vanished due to weathering and human factors. As a result, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities planned to undertake a renovation effort that would restore the granite outer walls, announcing the project back in January.

As soon as it was announced, the project was met with fierce opposition from the public and experts. The pressure prompted the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to form a committee of experts that would review the plan.

The committee unanimously rejected the idea earlier this month, saying that “it is impossible to ascertain the original and exact location of these blocks on the body of the pyramid” and “that any re-installation of the casing blocks would change the ancient, original fabric and appearance of the pyramid which would conceal important evidence of how the ancient Egyptians designed and built the pyramids.”

However, the committee supported an upcoming study of the pyramid and organization of the fallen granite blocks, as well as cleaning efforts on the site. These activities are subject to “a detailed, integrated proposal” that includes a “comprehensive scientific action plan”. 

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