The newly appointed Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt Mohammad Abdel-Maksoud announced Sunday that a committee has decided to make funds available to restart restoration work on the Zoser pyramid.
Local media had claimed the inside of the pyramid was falling down, following a default in payment to the company that was operating the restoration works. A statement from the council said that a technical committee met Sunday, and decided that payments would be in three phases with a priority for the workers’ salaries and for the delayed company payments.
La grave crisis financiera que afecta al Consejo Superior de Antigüedades (CSA), debida en gran parte a la ausencia de turistas en Egipto, podría acarrear el derrumbamiento de la pirámide escalonada de Zoser, la más antigua de la historia, cuya rehabilitación ha quedado interrumpida.
"El problema es que no hay dinero, porque éste llegaba del turismo extranjero. Después de la Revolución del 25 de enero, la afluencia de turistas al país disminuyó seriamente y, por tanto, los ingresos de los sitios arqueológicos bajaron", dijo en declaraciones a Efe el secretario general del CSA, Mohamed Abdel Maqsud.
Sin embargo, adelantó que mañana, domingo, visitará al frente de un equipo de expertos la pirámide, ubicada en la zona arqueológica de Saqara, unos 25 kilómetros al suroeste de El Cairo.
Roughly: According to Mohamed Abdel Maqsud the lack of tourists has led to a severe financial crisis in the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), caused by reduced ticket sales at sites. This could in turn lead to the deterioration of the step pyramid of Djoser, the renovation of which has been interrupted. Nevertheless he announced on Sunday that a team would be going to the site to review the situation. After four years of restoration the roof remains the last part of the project to need completion but the work was halted when the company carrying out the work was not paid. The monument appears to be in serious danger of collapse. The head of the restoration project, Samir Abdel Rauf, said in a statement to the Egyptian press that the suspension of work can lead to detachment of blocks from the roof of the pyramid. Temporarily fixed into place with the use of "pillows of air," follow-up work is required to avoid their detachment. The SCA will try to find the funds to complete the work.