Egypt’s Step Pyramid At Risk of ‘Catastrophic Collapse’

Egypt’s Step Pyramid At Risk of ‘Catastrophic Collapse’


Activists in Egypt expressed anger after Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities assigned a company, which oversaw the collapse of a major part of the 4,600-year-old Saqqara Pyramid, to resume its restoration reported.

In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Amir Gamal, representative of the ‘Non-Stop Robberies’ movement said the Minister of Antiquities gave orders to resume the restoration of the Saqqara Pyramid by the same company that had been responsible for major deterioration, including the collapse of a section of the pyramid, during earlier restoration attempts.

Shurbagy, the company assigned, has been in business for nine years and has not seen much success in any of the six projects it undertook, Gamal told Al-Masry Al-Youm, adding that the company is currently under investigation.

“The company has never restored any archaeological site. All projects it had were to create modern construction at archaeological sites,” Gamal explained.

“Technically, the company and officials of the Supreme Council of Antiquities committed a full-fledged crime. New walls were built outside the pyramid as if the pyramid were a modern construction, which is opposite to international standards of restoration, which prevents adding more than 5 percent of construction to antiquities if necessary. Adding the modern construction is a large pressure on the decaying pyramid, which threatens catastrophe.”

The Saqqara Pyramid, also known as the step pyramid, dates back to 4,600 years ago during the time of the Pharaoh Joser.

In 2011, restoration attempts commenced after fears that the Saqqara Pyramid faced ‘imminent’ collapse as a result of a 1992 earth quake. A British team deployed giant ‘air-bags’ to support the ceiling of the Pyramid as the government initiated plans for permanent repairs. However, the 2011 revolution and an economic crisis saw the restoration halted in 2012.

More in News

Egypt celebrates after clenching the African Cup. Credit: International Volleyball Federation

Egypt Crowned African Volleyball Champions, Qualify For World Cup

Egyptian StreetsJuly 31, 2015
Photograph of 18-month-old Ali discovered in the remains of the torched home.

This Palestinian Baby Was Just Burned Alive By ‘Jewish Settlers’

Egyptian StreetsJuly 31, 2015

U.S. Announces Delivery of Eight Advanced F-16s to Egypt

Aswat MasriyaJuly 30, 2015
Egypt celebrates after defeating Korea. Credit: IHF

Egypt Reaches Junior World Handball Championship Semi-Finals After Thrilling Victory Over Sweden

Egyptian StreetsJuly 30, 2015
Egyptian President Sisi with the Egyptian delegation of the 2014 MENA Special Olympics.

Egyptians Win 20 Medals At Special Olympics Yet Remain Ignored Back Home

Mohamed KhairatJuly 30, 2015

Egyptians Can Now Travel To Iran Without A Visa

Egyptian StreetsJuly 30, 2015
The relics found in the Red Sea Berenice Port are thought to be roughly 4,000 years old according to the Ministry of Antiquities

Two 4,000-Year-Old Relics Unearthed In Egypt’s Red Sea Port Berenice

Dalia GebrialJuly 29, 2015
The fire, which tore through the 3-storey building, has claimed the lives of at least 25 workers

Unsafe Working Conditions in Egypt Claim At Least 25 Lives in Factory Blaze

Dalia GebrialJuly 29, 2015