October 2, 1995 in Nation/World

Tourists Blamed For Pyramid Woes

Compiled From Wire Services

An Egyptian proverb holds that man fears time and time fears the pyramids. But Chephren, one of the famed three pyramids of Giza, is finally succumbing to time - 4,600 years’ worth.

Chephren will be closed to visitors for at least three months beginning Oct. 10 for an urgent restoration project. The Cheops and Mycerinus pyramids will remain open to tourists.

But it is tourists who are part of the problem plaguing the pyramids, the only survivors of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Zahi Hawass, chief inspector of the Giza plateau, where the three pyramids are located, said up to 2 million visitors enter the Chephren each year, and each exhales about seven-tenths of an ounce of water vapor. This weakens the limestone blocks of the pyramid.

Repairs will include a ventilation system to fight high humidity and fixing cracks in the stones.

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