Egypt has abandoned its proposal to renovate the cladding on one of the three main pyramids in Giza.

Egypt has abandoned its proposal to renovate the cladding on one of the three main pyramids in Giza.

The tourism minister of Egypt has announced that a committee has decided to abandon a controversial project to put back the ancient granite cladding on the smallest pyramid at Giza, known as the pyramid of Menkaure.

Last month, Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of the supreme council of antiquities, declared the plan as “the project of the century”.

However, the announcement that the historic structure may be modified sparked a global outcry, leading Egypt’s antiquities authority to reassess the plans. The pyramids are the sole remaining wonder of the ancient world.

Menkaure was the only pyramid to be constructed with granite instead of limestone. However, due to Menkaure’s death in 2503BC, only 16 to 18 layers of granite were able to be installed before construction was stopped.

Throughout history, the pyramid has suffered from theft, erosion, and structural damage, resulting in the disappearance of several layers. Today, only seven layers remain visible, but there are still many granite blocks scattered around the base of the pyramid that have fallen over time.

According to Waziri, the replacement of the granite will not begin until after a year of scanning and documentation.

The committee responsible for reviewing the Menkaure pyramid has expressed unanimous disapproval of the reinstallation of the granite blocks that have been scattered around the pyramid’s base for thousands of years, according to a statement released on Thursday.

According to Zahi Hawass, a previous official in charge of antiquities, the identification of the original locations of each block would be unfeasible. Additionally, using cement for replacements would damage the pyramid.

“I would like to assure everyone that there is no need to worry about the safety of the pyramids of Giza. They are perfectly secure and will not be harmed,” Hawass reassured Reuters. “I have been receiving numerous calls, letters, and emails expressing concerns, but I want to reassure you all that there is no cause for concern. The pyramids are safe, and the pyramid of Menkaure is untouchable.”

The committee of seven members has granted preliminary approval for the excavation of the boat pits at the Menkaure pyramid. These pits are similar to the Pharaonic bark pits that were discovered next to Khufu’s pyramid, which is located near Menkaure’s. However, this approval is conditional upon a thorough and comprehensive scientific study being conducted beforehand.

“Don’t rush in archaeology. Hastiness can lead to damaging the site,” stated Hawass. “Properly studying and assessing the site of the pyramids is crucial in determining the appropriate course of action.”