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Egypt Terminates Controversial Pyramid Renovation Plan

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The controversial plan to restore the ancient granite cladding on the smallest of the three great pyramids of Giza, the Pyramid of Menkaure, was abandoned by Egypt, according to a statement issued by a committee chaired by the minister of tourism.

The plan was revealed last month by Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who referred to it as “the project of the century”.

However, there was a swift international outcry upon learning that the ancient monument might be changed, which forced Egypt’s antiquities authority to review the project. Out of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the pyramids are the only ones that have survived. Menkaure was the only pyramid whose exterior was intended to be covered in granite rather than limestone.

Before work was stopped, only 16–18 layers of granite had been erected; this was presumably due to Menkaure’s passing in 2503 BC. Only seven layers remain today due to centuries of theft, weathering, and collapse; however, many fallen granite blocks can still be found scattered around the base of the pyramid.

According to Waziri, replacing the granite wouldn’t happen until a year had passed between scanning and paperwork. The committee’s head, former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass, stated that it would be impossible to pinpoint the original location of each block. Cement would also be needed to replace them, ruining the pyramid.

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