Saqqara - Pyramid of Djoser - Creative Commons via Wikimedia
CAIRO - 3 July 2017: Alaa Shahat, Director of Saqqara Antiquities area, said that the restoration work in the pyramid of Djoser is resumed now after Eid el-Fitr holiday.
Shahat explained that 90 percent of the restoration work is finished in order to speed up maintenance and deliver the pyramid on the scheduled time. ‘’ The restoration of the external body of the pyramid will be completed after two months,’’ said Shahat.
The pyramid of Djoser restoration will be completed at the delivery of the pyramid deadline, which is due after one year from now, Shahat declared.
The Southern cemetery in Saqqara is being supported now by the full completion of the fifth and sixth mastabas, and the eastern and southern facades, Shahat pointed out.
Cabinet has decided to allocate L.E 15.3 million ($ 845,309) to support the restoration and maintenance of the pyramid of Djoser. The restoration and the maintenance of the pyramid has stopped since 2011, after the UNESCO report issued in September of the same year, stating that the exterior facades of the pyramid has suffered from lack of maintenance over the centuries.
In addition to the damage caused by the removal of the dirt blocks, which led to the creation of many large cavities in several areas, and the appearance of many blocks seriously hanging without the existence of any pillars to protect 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 planned to end in 2009. But fears for the safety of the pyramid, increased after UNESCO’s report, which acknowledged that many irregularities occurred from the company responsible about its maintenance.
These irregularities were technical, particularly in the use of limestone to plug the openings which emerged from the pyramid body, the matter that led to the distortion of the pyramid external shape. In addition to the excessive load on the pyramid, which became a real danger to the pyramid.