CAIRO: The 4,300-year-old pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the trio at Giza will be re-opened to the public in November after the completion of its renovation, said director of the Archaeological Sites Development Department Ahmed Mutawa Monday.
“More than 20 Egyptian and European conservators along with three professional archaeologists have participated in the two-year renovation and cleaning project with a cost estimated at 3.5 million EGP ($493,000),” Mutawa told The Cairo Post.
According to Mutawa, the restoration of the pyramid of Menkaure comes in light of the Antiquities Ministry’s policy to set a balance between the demands of tourism and the need for conserving Giza pyramids.
“The policy involves a rotation schedule whereby each one or two years, one pyramid is to be closed for cleaning and renovation work, while the other two pyramids remain open to visitors,” said Mutawa, adding that the pyramid of Khafra will be closed for routine cleaning and restoration at the same day of opening the Pyramid of Menkaure.
Interior ancient structures, which have not been exposed to sunlight such as tombs and pyramids until recently, usually suffer from the elevated levels of carbon dioxide and humidity, which are produced by the tourists visiting the tombs and damage the inner wall paintings, Head of Giza archaeological site, Kamal Waheed told The Cairo Post Tuesday.
“The restoration work at the pyramid of Menkaure included the removal of graffiti which visitors left on the walls of the pyramid’s passageways and burial chamber, removal of the salt deposits from its walls and the replacement of the outer stairs leading to the Pyramid. It also included the installation of a special lighting system which does not damage the drawings and inscriptions and at the same time providing a clear view for visitors,” said Waheed.