Giza Pyramids threatened by urban expansion

Date:

Share post:

The areas surrounding the world-famous Giza pyramids are teeming with tourists and merchants, but many have begun to express their worries concerning illegal housing being constructed near the landmarks.

Giza Pyramids threatened by urban expansion
Illegal building near Giza pyramids [Credit: Sustainable 
Cities Collective]

The recent illegal construction of a residential building, which has partially blocked the view of Giza Pyramid “is a blatant encroachment of Egypt’s building laws which restrict urban housing in a five km radius from the Giza plateau,” Coordinator of the Popular Front to Defend Antiquities Osama Karar told Youm7 Saturday.

“If encroachments of building residential units in the area continue at the same rate witnessed since the January 25 Revolution, the Giza Pyramids won’t be seen from more than 30-meters away,” said Karar in response to photos published in Youm7 Friday.

Giza Pyramids threatened by urban expansion
Illegal building near Giza pyramids 
[Credit: Youm7]

The photos show an under-construction residential building located in Abu el-Houl street, walking distance from the foot of the Sphinx. The photos also show mobile network towers installed on rooftops, within the perimeter of the area where construction is restricted.

“Several residential buildings, with ranging from 5 to 11 stories tall, are being built in streets located less than 200 meters from the Giza Pyramids area. It is a blatant encroachment,” he added.

Giza Pyramids threatened by urban expansion
Illegal building near Giza pyramids 
[Credit: Youm7]

The Giza Plateau is part of a zone of 50 square kilometers that is protected by UNESCO, which stretches to the funerary complex at Saqqara, further south.

“The ancient ruins of the Memphis area , including the Pyramids of Giza , Saqqara , Dahshur , Abu Ruwaysh , and Abu Sir, were collectively designated a World Heritage site in 1979,” archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Saturday.

Giza Pyramids threatened by urban expansion
Illegal building near Giza pyramids 
[Credit: Youm7]

Following the 2011 revolution and the lack of proper security, private construction companies demolished some of the area’s old villas and 4-story residential buildings and replaced them with tall, residential buildings that encroach on the neighborhood’s small alleyways.

Karar says that bureaucracy, a lax approach from the government in implementing building code along with corruption issues are common in Egypt’s official bodies issuing building permits, and represent a threat to Egypt’s cultural heritage.

“The Ministry of Antiquities seems unwilling to admit failure, but the Egyptian government should take action to ensure that archaeological sites do not end up in a disaster,” he said.

Author: Rany Mostafa | Source: The Cairo Post [April 12, 2015]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Britain dismisses UNESCO mediation offer on Parthenon Sculptures

The British Museum has rejected, albeit in a polite manner, an offer for UNESCO mediation vis-a-vis the Parthenon...

Humans colonized diverse environments in Southeast Asia and Oceania during the Pleistocene

Investigations into what it means to be human have often focused on attempts to uncover the earliest material...

Unique ivory statuette of Graeco-Egyptian god Harpokrates unearthed in Crimea

A unique ivory statuette depicting the god Harpokrates was discovered by archaeologists from the Bosporos Archaeological Expedition of...

It’s time for museums to return their stolen treasures

Western museums are beset with demands to give back stolen property -- the cultural heritage of oppressed people...

5,000-year-old snake-head amulet discovered in Belarus

An amulet dating back to the 3rd millennium BC was found by archaeologists on the Krivinsky peatland near...

House of the Vettii in Pompeii re-opened to public

The lavish house in Pompeii has opened its doors to the public after two decades of restoration. It...

Evidence of cannibalism found in Neolithic Spain

An interdisciplinary group of specialists in archaeology, anthropology and paleogenetics from Durham University (United Kingdom), the International Institute...

Archaeologists confirm exact age of petroglyphs on Russia’s Kola Peninsula

Researchers on a summer archeological expedition reporting to the St Petersburg-based Institute for the History of Material Culture...