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Archeologists announce restoation plan for Pyramid of Menkaure

by Staff

This may be the ultimate fixer upper.

Egyptian archeologists are working to restore one of Giza’s pyramids to what they believe it looked like when it was erected some 4,000 years ago — a plan they dubbed the “project of the century.”

Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced last week the initiative to resurface the outside of the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of Giza’s three main pyramids, with hundreds of granite blocks that had once cased the ancient structure.

“There have been numerous projects throughout history that have been dubbed ‘Project of the Century,’ but, in my opinion, the task of restoring the granite casing of the Menkaure Pyramid is as significant and crucial,” Waziri said while standing at the base of the pyramid.

According to Waziri, the project is “a gift from Egypt to the world.”

The Pyramid of Menkaure — erected as the tomb of King Menkaure sometime around 2,000 BC — is the only known pyramid in Egypt that was built with an outer shell of granite blocks, according to Waziri.

It was once covered in the smooth blocks until what scientists believe to be an earthquake caused dozens to topple off the structure within the last thousand years.

Mostafa Waziri announced plans to resurface the Pyramid of Menkaure with its original granite blocks. dr_mostafa_waziry/Instagram
The blocks toppled off the pyramid during an earthquake within the last thousand years. dr_mostafa_waziry/Instagram
Waziri described the initiative as the “project of the century.” Dr. Mostafa Waziry/Facebook

Archeologists plan to use the very same original granite blocks, which have sat scattered around the pyramid’s base since they fell and can be seen in photographs dating back to the 20th Century.

The team, led by a coalition of Egyptian and Japanese experts, will spend at least one year studying and planning the initiative before an international team will decide whether to move forward with the reconstruction.

There has been some pushback to the plans, with some critics complaining that the smooth blocks will look strange next to the weathered surface of the existing pyramid.

The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of Giza’s three main pyramids. Cobalt88

Even other historians blasted the project, with some blasting the plan under Waziri’s Facebook page.

“Impossible,” Egyptologist Monica Hanna wrote. “The only thing missing was to add tiling to the pyramid of Menkaure! When are we going to stop the absurdity in the management of Egyptian heritage?”

“All international principles on renovations prohibit such interventions.”

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