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Giza Pyramid Restoration Sparks Debate

Experts Question Cost and Authenticity of Reconstruction Project

A highly controversial project to restore one of the Giza pyramids has drawn criticism from archaeologists who compare it to an attempt to “straighten the Tower of Pisa.” The project, which is already underway, aims to reconstruct the outer granite casing of the Pyramid of Menkaure, in collaboration between the Egyptian government and Japanese archaeologists. The facade is being built using the original blocks scattered around the pyramid’s base, which, according to the project team, were dislodged during an earthquake within the last thousand years.

A video posted on social media by Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, shows workers laying granite blocks at the base of the pyramid. The Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three pyramids at Giza, originally had 16 granite blocks comprising its outer casing, but only seven remain today.

The project has faced strong opposition from experts, who argue that it violates international principles regarding the restoration of historical monuments. Egyptologist Monica Hanna criticized the project, saying it is “impossible” and that “all international principles on renovations prohibit such interventions.” Others mocked the project, suggesting that the team should add wallpaper or paint to the pyramid.

Amidst the debate, Waziri defended the project, stating that its first stage will be funded by Japan. However, critics question the wisdom of undertaking such a costly project during Egypt’s current economic downturn, with significant loan repayments due this year and a challenging economic climate.

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