Sphinx and Khafre's Pyramid to open Sunday

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 6 Nov 2014

Giza pyramid and sphinx have been restored

The courtyard in front of the sphinx and the pyramid of King Khafre will be opened on Sunday after three years of restoration.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh El-Damaty will present at the ceremony at the Giza plateau.

The antiquities ministry restored the two sites as part of their project to preserve Egypt’s heritage and promote tourism to the country.

Restorers consolidated the northern side of the statue which includes a large part of the Sphinx's left shoulder and neck.

"The sphinx is now safe and sound and will greet visitors to the Giza plateau after being hidden under scaffoldings for almost three years," El-Damaty told Ahram Online. He added that the restoration took place using new blocks, inserted to consolidate those added during last century's restoration.

Erosion factors were the main reason that led to the deterioration of the blocks, said El-Damaty adding that cracks have been spread over it.

He told Ahram Online that the courtyard in front of the Sphinx is to be open for the first time ever.

The courtyard, El-Damaty pointed out, was closed many years ago and was never open to the public.

"A separate ticket than the one for the plateau is required for those who want to be face-to-face with the great sphinx," El-Damaty told Ahram Online.

The sphinx has been restored several times in its history, most recently for a ten-year span starting in the 1990s.

Khafre's pyramid will be open to visitors after a new lighting system to light its corridors was installed.

El-Damaty said that the lack of budget was behind the delay in the completion of Khafre's pyramid restoration which took three years instead of one year.

According to the ministry's rotation plan, one pyramid of the three pyramids of Giza will be closed every year for restoration.


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