CAIRO: The 4,400-year-old Pyramid of Khafre, the second biggest of the trio at Giza, was closed for restoration earlier this month and will remain so until June, when its renovation work is completed, head of the Giza archeological site Kamal Wahed told The Cairo Post Tuesday.
During the two-month renovation period, “special lighting and ventilation systems, which do not damage the drawings and inscriptions, while at the same time providing a clear view for visitors, will be installed,” said Wahid.
The limestone-topped Pyramid of Khafre was closed for restoration in 2011 before former Antiquities Minister Mohammad Ibrahim announced in October 2012 the Pyramid and as many as six other ancient tombs at the Giza site would be reopened.
The renovation will include the removal of graffiti, which visitors have 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 its entrance, Wahid said.
“Built as a tomb for the 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Khafre, it rises to a height of 150 meters. It looks to be the tallest of the Giza pyramids – but only because it is built at a higher elevation than the Great Pyramid (or Pyramid of Khufu), which is only four meters taller, archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Tuesday.
The pyramid was most likely first opened – and robbed – a few years after it was completed. The first recorded opening of the pyramid was in 1372, and it was fully excavated in 1818 by Giovanni Belzoni, whose graffiti is still seen in the burial chamber, according to Sabban.