Campaigners have criticised a decision to appoint contractors to restore Egypt’s oldest pyramid claiming they oversaw its deterioration.
The Non-Stop Robberies activist group are angry that the Ministry of Antiquities chose to re-hire workers they claim caused damage to the Pyramid of Djoserduring an earlier repair attempt.
Campaign spokesman Amir Gamal told local media: “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% of construction to antiquities if necessary.
“Adding the modern construction is a large pressure on the decaying pyramid, which threatens catastrophe.”
The Pyramid of Djoser was built more than 4,500 years ago by the master builder Imhotep for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser who had reigned for two or three decades, and consists of six mastabas – a form of flat-roofed Egyptian tomb that creates huge steps up the side of the structure which gradually decrease in size.
The pyramid has undergone many restoration projects after an earthquake struck in 1992, leaving a giant dome-shaped hole in the roof and rendering it unstable.
In 2011, a British team began the task of bringing the structure back to its former glory by inflating a giant water-balloon style support in its chambers to hold the ceiling up. However, the restoration ground to a halt in 2012 following issues with funding.