Egypt's 'project of the century' for pyramid restoration comes under fire

Country's Supreme Council of Antiquities announces project to 'restore' Menkaure Pyramid by refacing it with granite as it was after its construction, causing uproar

Egypt’s Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri unveiled the country’s "project of the century” back in January – aimed at refacing Menkaure Pyramid, the third-largest pyramid at the Giza Pyramid complex with granite.
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According to Waziri, the project’s goal is to "restore it [the pyramid] to its original form," as it had been following its construction in the middle of the third millennium BCE. Waziri revealed the pyramid's renovation in two videos uploaded to his private Facebook account, seemingly not expecting the issue to stir up controversy in Egypt. "This will be Egypt's gift to the world in the 21st century," he said.
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מזכיר המועצה העליונה לעתיקות במצרים מודיע על ציפוי מחדש בגרניט של הפירמידה מינכאורע
מזכיר המועצה העליונה לעתיקות במצרים מודיע על ציפוי מחדש בגרניט של הפירמידה מינכאורע
Mostafa Waziri announcing the new project
The project, set to take three years in collaboration between the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and a Japanese delegation, has been criticized by various Egyptian parties on social media. Archaeology enthusiasts feared it would compromise the pyramid's significant classification as a world heritage site, while others opposed the project for economic reasons, considering it an unnecessary boondoggle that would drain state coffers at times of economic hardship.
Following the backlash in Egypt, Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Ahmed Issa reportedly formed last week a scientific committee headed by a former antiquities minister and local and foreign experts and engineers to examine the viability of the project before any further steps are taken.
Egyptian media reported the committee will issue a detailed report on the matter before a decision is made on whether to pursue the project or abandon it.
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מסגד "אל-מורסי אבו אל-עבאס" באלכסנדריה - לפני ואחרי השיפוץ
מסגד "אל-מורסי אבו אל-עבאס" באלכסנדריה - לפני ואחרי השיפוץ
Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque before and after renovations
The announcement of the pyramid refacing project wasn’t the only controversial topic surrounding the field of antiquities and history in Egypt. In recent days, residents of Alexandria were surprised to discover that renovation works carried out at the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, the most famous mosque in the city, completely erased decorations that adorned it since its construction in the 13th century.
In photos and videos posted on social media, the mosque's ceiling can be seen without its distinctive decorations.
The renovations’ results sparked a backlash in Alexandria, and a special committee was formed in its case as well – with work at the site immediately halted. According to reports in Egypt, works attempting to restore the decorations and minimize the damage resulting from the renovation will take place in the upcoming month of Ramadan.
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