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private visit permit

THE GREAT PYRAMID and the so-called "Private Visits" permit.

For several decades now, the SCA (Supreme Council of Antiquities) was granting official permits for private visit inside the Great Pyramid. The cost, if I recall well, is $3000 for a 2 hours visit for max. group of 20 guests (as I have not obtained such permits myself, I may be corrected on these figures). A SCA INSPECTOR is allocated to escort the group. The 'private visits' take place 2 hours BEFORE official opening, or 2 hours AFTER official closing (official hours are 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 a.m.).
Apart from the fact that I do not approve of 'renting out' such an important monument as if it was an hotel room, I am dismayed at the very casual (to say the least) way that these 'private visit permits' are obtained. One would expect a well-worded document, both in Arabic and English, stipulating clearly how the visit will be conducted, and what is and what isn't allowed during the visit, and highlighting the penalties involved for any infringement that might occur. Yet there is, in fact, no such thing. The 'Permit' is simply a letter typed by the travel agent stating the day and time required. After payment is made, an official from the SCA simply scribbles 'doctor style' the approval in Arabic on this letter. I have posted here the 'private visit permit' that the a travel agent obtained for the two Germans for the 17th April 2013, for 2 hours starting at 6 p.m. One would also expect that the visitors would first be screened by the security police at Giza. Yet, amazingly, not even their names are noted on the permit! furthermore they were allowed to enter with commercial HD video cameras and other utensils. Furthermore they were allowed to climb a ladder inside the King's Chamber and take black powder samples from the underside of the granite ceiling beams. furthermore they were allowed to climb a ladder to go into the so-called Relief Chambers and there, too, take a sample of red ochre paint from the ancient graffiti. Although I cannot possibly condone in any way the action of the Germans, I must nonetheless place the blame on the authorities who allowed this, and on the loose document that passes as a 'private visit permit' which, in a court of law, constitutes the legal 'contract' between the travel agent and the SCA. This 'contract', which amount to nothing more than hand scribbles (almost illegible) on the letter of the travel agent is, to say the very least, a travesty of administration for the renting out of the 'last suriving wonder of the ancient world'. (Even the rental contract for a small family apartment will requires a well-drafted legal contract of several pages!).
But anyway, here is the picture of the 'Permit' in question for the 'private visit' for the 17 April 2013 for "3 Germans".
Judge for yourself.

Copyright | Dominique Görlitz •  Dr.-S.-Allende-Str. 46 • D − 09119 Chemnitz | Telefon 0049 - (0)371 725 478 0 | Mobil 0049 − (0)163 - 511 57 66 | dominique.goerlitz@t-online.de

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