I found my self suddenly falling in love with almost all the Egyptian antiquities. Back in 2005, when I first started writing for tourism in Egypt, I felt that I am fond of the Egyptian history and that I actually own these glorious treasures.
It really hurts me when I read that some of the Egypt’s most remarkable and marvelous monuments are being mistreated. I was in shock to know that there are doubts that Egypt’s most ancient pyramid, the most ancient stone monument in the whole world; the pyramid of Djoser in the Saqqara ancient necropolis might actually collapse.
It seemed like a glittering star; the heart of one of the richest ancient necropolises in Egypt. When I first saw it, I knew I fell in love with this stone building that fought for more than 4600 years to survive. Are we going to kill a vital piece of our ancient civilization with our own hands?
There are actually many doubts and concerns about “El Shorbagy”, the company the Egyptian government signed a contract with to restore the pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara. Some activists assert that this company never worked in restoring monuments before. There are some concerns about its ownership and its history of achievements.
A report issued by four expert inspectors from the government, who are responsible for following up the mission of restoring the Djoser Pyramid, stated that there are faults in the restoration of the pyramid. As a consequence, the UNESCO excluded the pyramid from the World Heritage List.
Activists and Egyptian archeologists have also noted that the company responsible for the restoration has breached the preservation laws which state that any new buildings, in a restoration project, should not exceed 5% of the overall buildings. The company did construct a number of walls and different structures that are far beyond the 5%.
Due to the usage of non-appropriate materials, the color of the pyramid changed into pink from outside, which of course is not the original color of the structure.
These incidents are definitely horrible. They are actually quite frustrating! To know that this piece of historic treasure that survived for centuries is now actually being ruined!
On the other hand, Zahi Hawas, the former Egyptian minster of Antiquities and the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities for years, has noted that the Pyramid of Djoser is still included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The proof, according to Hawas, is that the pyramid is still in the list on the website of the UNESCO and that the pyramid of Djoser is actually part of the ancient necropolis of Saqqara which is site added by the UNESCO to the list.
Hawas added moreover that only the experts who began the project of the restoration of the Djoser Pyramid from the very beginning should be asked about how well the process is evolving.
Concerning “El Shorbagy”, the company responsible for the restoration mission, Hawas said that the company was chosen due to its portfolio of pervious projects and due to its financial proposal as well. He added that the ministry of Antiquities never intervene in the process of choosing this company, or any other partners in different restoration projects.
No matter which part of the story is true, it is quite sad to learn that one of the most wonderful and ancient monuments of Egypt is threatened in such a way. How can we be able to create the future if we are not able to preserve our history?
Are these only rumors? I have seen the additional walls constructed by the company with my own eyes! However, Mr. Hawas asserted that the pyramid and the whole ancient burial site of Saqqara is actually still included in the World Heritage List and I have seen this with my own eyes as well.
I really hope we wouldn't wake up one day to know that the pyramid of Djoser factually collapsed! Lets wait and see!