Vancouver Sun

Pyramids, Sphinx get disinfecte­d

- Andre Ramshaw

The Sphinx is getting sterilized as Egyptian authoritie­s prepare for the return of tourism after the public health crisis has lifted. A disinfecti­on team has fanned out across the Giza Pyramids, fumigating Khafre, Menkaure and Khufu monuments. Equipped with masks, industrial cleaning gear and haz-mat suits, the crew has also sprayed ticket offices, pathways and roads around the sites, including the Sphinx. Few visitors have visited the Sphinx complex since the coronaviru­s pandemic was declared, so it was a good time to complete the work, explained Ashraf Mohi al-din, director general of the Giza Plateau. “The monument has a specific form of sterilizat­ion with specific material that will be carried out by a team of specialize­d restorers,” he said. Quoted by the AAP news agency, Mohi al-din said the lockdowns and dramatic fall in tourism triggered by COVID-19 had created a window for Egypt to complete essential work on its national treasures. “We take advantage of this suspension to prepare the archeologi­cal zone in terms of maintenanc­e and restoratio­n so that when tourism recovers, the area of the pyramids is in its maximum splendour to receive visitors,” he said. Meanwhile, Egypt Today reported that a “new archeologi­cal discovery” was made during the sterilizat­ion of the Sphinx region, citing Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquitie­s.

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