Dominique Görlitz - Still image from Youtube
CAIRO - April 24, 2017: Four officials at the Ministry of Antiquities and eight guards at the Giza pyramid complex were referred to trial Monday for allowing German nationals to steal samples from the Great Pyramid in 2013.
Gaber Abdel Dayem, former Chief Antiquities Inspector at the Scientific Affairs department of the ministry, is charged with illegally working as a tour guide outside the specifications of his job and of ordering a guard, another defendant in the case, to bring a ladder so the Germans could reach the five chambers above the main burial chamber of the Great Pyramid.
The Germans, amateur archaeologists and conspiracy theorists Dominique Görlitz, Stefan Erdmann and Peter Hoefer, stole samples from the ceiling and walls of the main burial chamber of King Khufu inside the Great Pyramid, using a sharp tool that caused scratches and abrasions, according to the prosecution.
The Egyptian defendants are charged with facilitating the vandalizing of the Giza Plateau from July 14, 2013 until September 9, 2013. The three Germans were sentenced in absentia to five years in prison in November 2014, as they posted a video of the sabotage on YouTube months after leaving Egypt. The video has since been removed and the German government returned the samples to Egypt in August 2014, but the German prosecution’s case in Görlitz’s hometown was closed.
After wide-scale investigations, the prosecution found that M. F., an antiquities inspector at the Giza Plateau at the time, allowed the extraction of the samples, including the organic red pigment with which King Khufu’s name was written on a cartouche, and let them into the five chambers, allowing them to film without a permit.
He is charged with giving five people access to the Great Pyramid. In addition to the three Germans, Egyptians Abdel Dayem and Fergany Salama, head of the tour company that handled the Germans’ visit, were permitted access.
Another former antiquities inspector at the pyramid complex, identified as H. A., allowed the German defendants into the Tomb of the Birds in the Giza Western Cemetery, where they took samples. The guard of the tomb at the time was also referred to trial.
The fourth official, R., who is the former chief of the Giza Plateau inspectors, was charged with dereliction of duty and failing to oversee the work of the mentioned inspectors.
The guards who were posted at the sites in question are mainly charged with allowing the German nationals to enter the complex with sharp tools and cameras and providing access to more people than cited in the permits inside the Khufu Pyramid (also known as the Cheops Pyramid) and the Tomb of the Birds.
The “Cheops Project” of the German group seeks to prove ancient Egyptians did not build the Great Pyramid.