Friday, November 20, 2009

Site management: Giza (Zahi Hawass)

The site of Giza is one of the most visited sites in Egypt. Everyone who comes to Egypt visits the great pyramids that dominate the landscape here. In the past, the site was crowded, cars were everywhere and also people selling camel and horse rides and souvenirs. We decided to make improvements to the site to make it more enjoyable to visit.

In order to eliminate the automobile traffic in Giza and the damage it does to the site, a new road is being constructed around the outside of the site. Two new entrances to the site are being built, where the cars and tour buses will park outside, and visitors will take new electric cars up to the monuments. One new entrance, off the Fayum Road, will be used by tourists and private vehicles. We are building a visitor center there, where people can learn about the pyramids before entering the site. Another entrance will be used by students and school groups, which will have an education center aimed at young people. Here the schoolchildren can learn about the history of Giza and experience the history of the site before seeing the monuments in person.

Each visitor center will have parking spaces for vehicles, so that all vehicles but the electric cars will be kept outside the site. From the visitor centers, electric cars will take the new roads to the monuments, making the site more pedestrian friendly, and enhancing the visit, as there will no longer be cars and buses coming through the middle of the site.

Inside the perimeter of the new ring road, there will be no new buildings built, and all existing buildings will be removed, to make the view better and protect the monuments from building projects. Also, we will keep all of the camels and horses outside this ring. Anyone who wants to ride a camel or a horse at Giza will be able to do so outside the road, with a beautiful view of the pyramids in front of them, while everyone near the pyramids will not be bothered. In this way, everyone will be able to enjoy the site.

This project is part of the site management program I am establishing in Egypt. Our ancient monuments are an important part of the cultural heritage of the world, and I want to ensure that they are preserved for future generations.

No comments: