Asia

Lab opens at Egypt's pyramids to restore pharaonic boat

  • Sakuji Yoshimura, the director of the Institute of Egyptology, Waseda University, center, leaves the site of Cheops' second solar boat below the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    Sakuji Yoshimura, the director of the Institute of Egyptology, Waseda University, center, leaves the site of Cheops' second solar boat below the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tourists visit the ancient Pharaoh king Cheops' first solar boat, which was removed in pieces in 1954 and painstakingly reconstructed, during their visit to the boat museum at the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    Tourists visit the ancient Pharaoh king Cheops' first solar boat, which was removed in pieces in 1954 and painstakingly reconstructed, during their visit to the boat museum at the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

  • A restoration expert treats a giant wooden piece of Pharaoh Cheops' second solar boat which was recently pulled out below the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    A restoration expert treats a giant wooden piece of Pharaoh Cheops' second solar boat which was recently pulled out below the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

Egypt is inaugurating its largest on-site antiquities laboratory, to restore the second ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's iconic pyramids.

The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020.

Eissa Zeidan, head of the project's Egyptian restoration team, told The Associated Press that the lab, at the site of the Giza pyramids, was necessary for some of the boat's 1,264 pieces, which are too fragile or large to move.

The vessel and its sister boat, on display near the Great Pyramid, were discovered in 1954 and are believed to have been buried with the pharaoh to carry him into the afterlife.