Egypt's antiquities authority closed the largest of the Giza pyramids Friday following rumors that groups would try to hold spiritual ceremonies on the site at 11:11 A.M. on Nov. 11, 2011.
The authority's head Mustafa Amin said in a statement Friday that the pyramid of Khufu, also known as Cheops, would be closed to visitors until Saturday morning for "necessary maintenance."
The closure follows a string of unconfirmed reports in local media that unidentified groups would try to hold "Jewish" or "Masonic" rites on the site to take advantage of mysterious powers coming from the pyramid on the rare date.
Amin called all reports of planned ceremonies at the site "completely lacking in truth."
The complex's director, Ali al-Asfar, said Friday that an Egyptian company requested permission last month to hold an event called "hug the pyramid," in which 120 people would join hands around the ancient burial structure.
The authority declined the request a week ago, al-Asfar said, but that did not stop concerned Egyptians from starting internet campaigns to prevent the event from taking place.
Ahram Online (Nevine El-Aref)
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.