The Pyramid of Chephren, second largest of the three Giza Pyramids, reopened to visitors Wednesday after 10 months of renovation and improvements to save it from the perspiration and humid breath of tourists.
A large piece of masonry fell from the ceiling of the burial chamber last October, alerting archaelogists to the damage the high humidity was doing to the monument. Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Giza Pyramids are the only survivor.Abdelhalim Noureddin, chairman of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, said the council spent about $300,000 patching up the damage and installing a ventilation system, new lighting and a closed-circuit television system.
The burial chamber under the apex, with graffiti recording its rediscovery by Italian adventurer Giovanni Belzoni in March 1818, also has a public address system for use in emergencies.
"Now the masonry is completely solid, and there are no problems with the stone because we managed to deal with it in time," Noureddin told reporters.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops, the largest of the three, had similar treatment in 1990 and 1991.
Noureddin said the third pyramid, that of the Pharaoh My-cer-i-nus, would soon be renovated in the same way.
Chephren, the son of Cheops and the fourth pharaoh of the fourth dynasty, ruled Egypt in the 26th century B.C.