RESTORATION TO RESUME ON PYRAMID OF DJOSER IN EGYPT

SAQQARA, Egypt, Sept 18- The Egyptian government has been conducting a huge restoration project of the world’s first stone architecture — the pyramid of Djoser. But after the Jan uprising, the project was delayed. The government says it will soon continue.

Egypt is expecting its tourist capacity to return back to normal soon. So, it is getting prepared by launching a nationwide restoration campaign for its antiquities. And not far from the popular Giza pyramids, lies the most important ancient site in Egypt and probably the world, Saqqara. Yet it is not as popular.

Djoser Pyramid, the first great stone architecture in the history of mankind, but as it could collapse at any time, it has not welcomed visitors for 30 years.

The restoration process is tricky. As many stones on the outer skeleton were damaged, the government replaced them with new ones. Many experts criticised this move, as it takes away the pyramid’s ancient looks.

But the chief engineer of the project says, the replacement is within the acceptable international standards.

“The UNESCO sets guidelines for us to operate. And according to the regulations, it’s acceptable to replace up to five percent of the structure. We only replaced two percent. Without this replacement, particularly inside the pyramid, it would have collapsed a long time ago,” Djoser renovation project chief engineer, Michel Farid, said.

The landscape in Saqqara is unique. Two ceremonial rooms surround the pyramid, one has a lotus flower on it, representing the South of Egypt, and the other has papyrus for the North. It was believed that in this way, the gods would honour the soul of King Djoser, for maintaining the unity of Egypt, which his ancestors achieved.

“We’ve almost finished the interior. It is very safe and secure. We are doing our best to welcome back tourists,” antiquities minister, Mamdouh Damaty, said.

The restoration project began in 2006. But after the Jan revolution it was stalled for three years. And when the government resumes operation, it will still take them two more years to complete the project.

The restoration project began in 2006. But After the Jan revolution it was stalled for three years.

SOURCE: MENA