Egyptian Authorities Close Pyramid Amidst Reports of Mysterious 11/11/11 Rituals
The antiquities authority in Egypt closed down the pyramid of Khufu, known as Cheops, the largest pyramid in the Giza Necropolis, after rumors surfaced about groups attempting to hold spiritual ceremonies there to mark the rare 11/11/11 date.
The authority said in a statement that the pyramid was being closed to visitors until Saturday in order for crews to perform “necessary maintenance.” But the coincidental timing of the closure comes after a string of unconfirmed reports in the local media that various groups wanted to hold rituals on the site at 11:11 a.m. on November 11, to take advantage of supposed mysterious powers coming from the pyramid on the distinctive date.
The head of the antiquities authority, Mustafa Amin, said in the statement that all reports of planned ceremonies at the site were “completely lacking in truth.” And the Giza complex’s director, Ali al-Asfar, agreed that the closure was unrelated to the rumors. He said the pyramid needed maintenance after a large number of visitors during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday a week ago.
The antiquities authority did deny a request from an Egyptian company last month to hold an event called “hug the pyramid,” during which they wanted 120 people to join hands around the ancient burial structure. Even though the request was declined, concerned Egyptians started internet campaigns to make sure the event would not take place.
The rest of the pyramid complex in Giza, including two large pyramids, several tombs and the Sphinx, remained open to the public on Friday, although security was reportedly heavier than usual. Al-Asfar made a statement after 11:11 in the morning had passed and said he noted nothing out of the ordinary.
“Everything is normal,” he said. “The only thing different is the closure of the Khufu pyramid.”