The newly appointed Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt Mohammad Abdel-Maksoud announced Sunday that a committee has decided to make funds available to restart restoration work on the Zoser pyramid.

Local media had claimed the inside of the pyramid was falling down, following a default in payment to the company that was operating the restoration works. A statement from the council said that a technical committee met Sunday, and decided that payments would be in three phases with a priority for the workers' salaries and for the delayed company payments.

© UnknownKing Zoser’s step Pyramid of Saqqara
King Zoser's step Pyramid of Saqqara stands about 30 kilometers south of Cairo.

It is thought to be the first pyramid ever built in Egypt and the oldest stone building still standing in the country.

Abdel-Maksoud replaced the former flamboyant antiquities chief Zahi Hawass, known for his "Indiana Jones" style hats. His initial replacement, Abdel-Fattah al-Banna, came under fire for lacking archaeology credentials for the post. After Banna quit shortly after his appointment in July, council secretary Abdel-Maksoud took his place.