Djoser Pyramid - File Photo
CAIRO – 30 October 2017: The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities is currently working on the maintenance and restoration of the Djoser Pyramid to inaugurate it before the end of this year, as planned.
“The projects sector of the Ministry of Antiquities almost finished the restoration work of the Djoser Pyramid; the pyramid will definitely be inaugurated in 2017,” said Waad Aboul Ela, the head of the projects sector.
Renowned Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawas followed up on the restoration works being carried out at the Djoser pyramid in an effort to consolidate the 4,600-year-old monument against time. The Djoser pyramid is the first stone structure in history built by King Djoser, a king from Egypt’s third dynasty.
The cabinet has decided to allocate LE 15.3 million ($845,309) to support the restoration and maintenance of the pyramid. The restoration and maintenance of the pyramid had stopped in 2011, after the UNESCO report issued in September of the same year stated that the exterior facades of the pyramid had suffered from lack of maintenance over the centuries.
In addition, the removal of the dirt blocks from the pyramid's body led to the creation of many large cavities in several areas, as well as the appearance of many blocks hanging without pillars to support them.
The report also confirmed the existence of some problems in the restoration work. Later, rumours spread that the pyramid was removed from the World Heritage List.
The restoration work of the pyramid began in 2006 and was scheduled to finish in 2009. But fears for the safety of the pyramid increased after the UNESCO’s report, which acknowledged that many irregularities occurred due to the work of the maintenance company; hence all restoration work has stopped since then.
These irregularities were technical, particularly in the use of limestone to plug the openings that emerged in the pyramid's body, leading to the distortion of the pyramid's external shape. Also, the excessive load on the pyramid became a threat.