CAIRO: The 4,300-year-old pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the trio at Giza, is now opened to the public after the completion of its renovation, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty announced Tuesday.
The reopening of the pyramid comes in accordance with the antiquities ministry’s strategy involving “a rotation schedule whereby every one or two years, one pyramid is to be closed for cleaning and renovation work, while the other two pyramids remain open to public,” said Damaty in a statement Tuesday.
The Pyramid of Khafre will be closed for routine cleaning and restoration starting from April 1, he said.
“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,)” director of the Archaeological Sites Development Department Ahmed Mutawa previously told The Cairo Post.
The pyramid is 61 meters high with a square base of 108.5 meters each side and an angle of 51 degrees. The limestone pyramid was built to serve as the tomb of the fourth dynasty Pharaoh Menkaure (2530 B.C.-2500 B.C.)
Unlike the other two pyramids, the outer bottom level and the burial chamber of Menkaure’s pyramid were sheathed in pink granite that is still visible.
Head of Giza archaeological site Kamal Waheed told The Cairo Post that the restoration work included the removal of graffiti which visitors had left on the walls of the pyramid’s passageways and burial chamber, the 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 while at the same time providing a clear view for visitors,” he added.