Restoration debate swirls around 4,500-year-old pyramid in Egypt
The restoration of the 4,500-year-old Menkaure Pyramid in Egypt, the smallest of the Giza pyramids, has sparked controversy. The plan to cover the pyramid with granite stones as part of a restoration project expected to last at least three years is being financed and supported by Japan.
While the government stands behind the project expected to span at least three years, many experts have voiced their opposition, drawing criticism on social media as well. Some experts have likened the project to "trying to straighten the Leaning Tower of Pisa."
In response to the backlash, the Egyptian government has appointed a commission of experts to review the project. However, it remains uncertain whether the project will undergo any changes, as work on the pyramid continues.
Ibrahem Badr, an academic from Cairo's Misr University, labeled the project a "disaster" in a message on X, stating, "They need to read the universal rules applied for restoration. Especially those concerning historical structures in Egypt." Badr criticized Egyptian officials for approving the project without consulting experts: "How can a pyramid be covered without a decision taken by consulting restoration experts and archaeologists?"
Salima Ikram, a researcher from the American University in Cairo, noted on Facebook that while the restoration might seem like a "very good idea," projects considered good today are often criticized ten years later.
Also known as the Menkaure Pyramid, it stands 62 meters tall and is the smallest structure among the Giza pyramids. The pyramid is estimated to have been completed in 2510 BC.