The Restoration of The Great Pyramid of Khufu
by Dr. Zahi Hawass

gp-kc98b.jpg  Copyright (c) 1998 Andrew Bayuk, All Rights Reserved
From the west wall looking east in this picture you can see scaffolding that is used during periods of restoration to clean and restore the walls of the main chamber.


The Pyramid of Khufu was closed on April 1, 1998 after it was discovered that the numbers of visitors had increased humidity inside the pyramid to 80%. We know that each visitor to the pyramids and tombs give out an average of about 20 grams of water through their breath and perspiration, this ruins the plasters that cover part of the grand gallery by accumulating salts which leech to the plaster.The walls of the Grand Gallery of the pyramid were also found to be covered with up to 2cm of salt. The restoration was conducted by the Dept. of Antiquities.

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Cleaned and restored passageway

The pyramid was closed according to a site management plan to accommodate both the importance of tourism as a source of national income and the importance of preserving the monuments. This plan requires that one of the three pyramids at Giza will be closed each year and that the various monuments will be opened and closed to the public on a rotating basis.

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Grand Gallery, looking down, after cleaning

The Department of Antiquities of Giza, composed of a team of Egyptian architects and conservators, has been working to repair and conserve the Great Pyramid for a year.

1 . Graffiti left inside the pyramid by visitors was mechanically removed.

2. The walls of the Grand Gallery were cleaned of salt residue.

3. The first and second chambers have had their walls cleaned.

4. Cracks found in the walls of the Great Gallery have been repaired.

5. A new lighting system has been installed inside the pyramid.

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The restored main burial chamber   

New Vent Fan in the main chamber:

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6. A French company made a gift of a new ventilation system. The system has been placed at the opening of the pyramid's "air shaft" to increase the flow of fresh air into the pyramid.  They put a small machine on the top of the so-called ventilation channel inside the pyramid. Now, one cannot see it from the outside.            

7. The first and second pyramid chambers will be opened to the public for the first time.     

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                                  The restored Subterranean Chamber

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View up the newly cleaned Grand Gallery toward the Main Chamber


The Supreme Council of Antiquities has also made two decisions relating to the Giza pyramids:

1. Only 300 visitors per day are allowed to enter the pyramids.

2. The Council agreed with the Civil Airline Department to ban all planes from flying over the pyramids.

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Burial Chamber ceiling showing crack monitor strips

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Director of the Giza Pyramids and Saqqara,
Undersecretary of the State for the Giza Monuments

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