Following the brouhaha created among Egyptologists and public opinion towards the meditation ceremony intended to be held at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza, 11 November, ostensibly to save the earth, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has closed the Khufu Pyramid tomorrow.
Aly El-Asfar, head of the Giza Plateau in the SCA, told Ahram Online that the Great Pyramid of Khufu will be closed tomorrow, thereby cancelling 19 private visits scheduled and approved a year ago as well as the controversial meditation ceremony itself. The closure, El-Asfar continued, came following a long meeting with top SCA officials. “All the tour leaders and agencies were notified of the closing and the cancellation of their visits,” El-Asfar said, explaining that the Giza Plateau as a whole will be open, but not the Khufu Pyramid and the area surrounding it.
After a telephone interview with El-Asfar, the SCA Press Office sent a press release announcing the closure of Khufu Pyramid, noting that the closure was in order to perform required maintenance work following the high number of visitors that have visited the plateau in the Eid holiday. The closure decision was taken Thursday afternoon, in coordination with the Tourism and Antiquities Police, Public Security Police, and SCA private security.
The statement added that all arranged visits and private parties on Friday are cancelled. All tourism agencies and companies are said to have understood the reasons behind the decision.
Controversy surrounded not only the meditation ceremony slated for Friday, but the fact that SCA initially approved it. People from all over the world were due to hold a "ceremony of love" to strengthen the power of the pyramid on the day 11-11-2011, to save the earth from cosmic threats. According to the programme published by the polish foundation DAR SWATOWIDA, which was sponsoring the event, a crystal pyramid would be installed inside Khufu’s sarcophagus for 24 hours in order to harness the energy of all sacred sites around the world and create a shield between the earth and cosmic forces. They believe the world will end on 12/12/2012.
Some newspapers and websites as well as Egyptologists said that among the meditators were 1200 Jews who wanted to put a symbol of the Star of David on top of the Great Pyramid in order to confirm that they are the real builders of it, not the ancient Egyptians. Excavation works sponsored by this polish foundation were stopped many years ago by former Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass, reportedly for security reasons.
El-Asfar confirmed that according to the programme submitted by the foundation and its tour agent, Lili Risen Company, the ceremony would have been like any other private ceremony held at the Giza Plateau; nothing would be installed inside the sarcophagus of King Khufu.
He added that SCA’s approval of the ceremony came after all security authorities in Egypt approved the event, and that it would be monitored and supervised by inspectors who would never allow harm to come to the pyramid. “I cannot control anyone’s belief, but I am the guardian of the pyramids and Egypt’s history and will not, by any means, allow that something wrong would happen, or if any damage occur,” El-Asfar asserted.
El-Asfar also told Ahram Online that Hisham Hosni, the chairman of Lili Risen Company, will file a law suit against newspapers and Egyptologists who spread the rumour that the ceremony was a Jewish-Israeli ritual.