Old Giza! Egypt relocates giant 3,000yo statue of pharaoh Ramses II (VIDEO)
Secured in a specially designed iron frame and followed by a crowd of engineers and journalists, a gigantic ancient statue of pharaoh Ramses II has been carefully moved 400 meters to its new home in a brand new museum.
The 12-meter high colossus, weighing over 80 tons, was carried on the back of two huge trailer beds. Even the road was fixed and flattened so the statue could be moved smoothly.
The monument was accompanied by the Egyptian military engineering corps. It was escorted by 11 mounted honor guards wearing ceremonial uniform and a military band performing the national anthem. The complex relocation, and accompanying fanfare, cost 13.6 million Egyptian pounds ($770,000).
The new Grand Egyptian Museum, which will cover around 490,000 square meters, is expected to fully open by 2022. The opening of the first section is scheduled for 2018.
The museum will house Egypt’s most unique artifacts, including an exhibit on the pharaoh Tutankhamun with some 5,200 items on display
Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, ruled Egypt for around 60 years, from 1279 to 1213 BC. He greatly expanded the territory of the Egyptian empire, which spanned an area from modern day Syria to Sudan.
The statue of Ramses II was discovered in 1820 near ancient Memphis by Giovanni Battista Caviglia, an Italian explorer and Egyptologist, who was also a key figure in the excavation of the Sphinx of Giza. During the 20th century, the monument decorated Ramses Square in downtown Cairo for more than 50 years, but was then transported to the Giza Plateau in 2006.
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