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Egypt's Ramses Gets a New Home Among Pyramids
VOA ^ | Aug. 25, 2006 | Leslie Boctor

Posted on 08/26/2006 1:19:40 PM PDT by FairOpinion

Engineers on Friday moved a 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses II. The pharonic statue had stood for more than 50 years in a congested square in downtown Cairo. Its new home will be at a tranquil spot next to the Great Pyramids. Thousands came out to watch the statue makes its 20 kilometer journey.

Onlookers crowded along the street around the statue of Pharaoh Ramses II which was surrounded by a convoy including 1,500 soldiers, during the final leg of its journey It took 10 hours for the 11 meter, 83 ton statue to travel through downtown Cairo and cross the Nile River. Tens of thousands of people, many of them waving Egyptian flags and cheering, turned out to watch the statue make its slow journey to its new home.

The statue was transported, in one piece, on two flatbed trucks and was encased in place with a steel cage.

To accommodate the grand statue on its journey, countless potholes had to be fixed, fences removed, and trees cut down. Its final resting place will be next to the Giza pyramids at the site of the new Egyptian Museum.

Ramses II was one of ancient Egypt's most impressive, and prolific, pharaohs. He had eight wives and 120 children. During his more than 60-year reign, Egypt prospered at home and abroad. Considered one of Egypt's greatest warriors, he is also known as a man of peace, signing what is believed to be the world's first peace treaty.

The statue depicts Ramses with one foot forward, striding boldly into the after life. But over the past 54 years a concrete jungle had grown up around him. The statue was hemmed in by a major highway overpass, a mosque and a hotel. Subway lines ran directly under the monument.

Egypt's director of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, says the statue had to be moved to protect it from environmental damage, and to give it a more appropriate home.

"The granite is in danger," he said. "We are moving it to save it, but we are also moving it to respect [it], because the ancient Egyptians, when they made a statue they did not intend to put it in a square. The statue has spiritual values. It has to be in their original location. The idea of putting pharaonic statues in squares of towns is completely wrong. Statues were made to be in temples or tombs."

The giant statue of Pharaoh Ramses II is moved Friday Aug 25, 2006, from a congested downtown square to its new home near the more peaceful Great Pyramids

Many Egyptians remember calmer days in Ramses Square, when the statue was surrounded by grass and trees, a place for picnics at the foot of the statue. Egyptians grew attached to the statue, passing it on their daily commute.

Antiques collector Amgad Naguib came to watch the majestic statue leave its home, and, as he puts it, pay his last respects. He says the great statue was interwoven with people's lives as a daily reminder of Egypt's great history.

"I used to come to sit at the Everest Hotel in the square, right in front of this statue, only to look at it," he recalled. "Ramses is maybe our last thing to be proud of. Since Ramses, we didn't really do much."

The statue has been reproduced on countless postcards and guidebooks, and was often prominently featured in Egyptian films. It has been a cultural landmark for the city, says Naguib, especially for its newcomers.

"Most of Cairo now is immigrants. Cairo is a city of 17 million or more, and most have come from the countryside and from Upper Egypt. It was the first thing they saw at the railway station," he added. "They would leave the train station and it was the landmark of all of Cairo, not only the square."

The Ramses statue will be the showcase of the new Egyptian museum, which, says antiquities director Hawass, will be the largest museum in the world. It is scheduled for completion in 2010.

Since taking office in 2002, Hawass has waged a campaign to recover Egyptian antiquities that he says were illegally taken abroad. He is not timid about protecting Egyptian monuments. He says it is right that his country is now finally the authority on its antiquities, rather than foreign institutions.

"What really happened in archeology in the last 25 years, it's always foreigners doing projects," he noted. "The Egyptians never did any great projects like this, moving Ramses II, it's a shock to them. But at the end, they really like it and that's why I'm really proud. Because for the first time, the face of Egypt is done by Egyptians, not by foreigners"

Judging by throngs of crowds who accompanied the procession of Ramses II throughout the night, Egyptians were indeed reveling in a moment of national pride.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 19thdynasty; 26thdynasty; ancientegypt; archaeology; cairo; egypt; egyptology; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; pharao; pharaoh; pyramids; ramessesii; ramses; ramsesii

Onlookers crowded along the street around the statue of Pharaoh Ramses II which was surrounded by a convoy including 1,500 soldiers, during the final leg of its journey

The giant statue of Pharaoh Ramses II is moved Friday Aug 25, 2006, from a congested downtown square to its new home near the more peaceful Great Pyramids

1 posted on 08/26/2006 1:19:43 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion

The massive statue of Ramses II passes close to the great pyramids in Giza during the end of its journey from the polluted city to a spot near the Pyramids and closer to its original site. Hundreds of thousands of people have lined Cairo's streets to bid farewell to one of the metropolis's landmarks as the colossal statue of Ramses II completed its journey.(AFP/Khaled Desouki)

2 posted on 08/26/2006 1:21:58 PM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG PING


3 posted on 08/26/2006 1:22:24 PM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: FairOpinion

The Pharaoh Ramses II statue, suffering from the ravages of pollution, stands in downtown Cairo, in this June 28, 2006 file photo. The giant statute of Pharaoh Ramses II began being moved early Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 from a congested downtown square to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids, in a bid to save it from damaging pollution and traffic gridlock. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

In its location prior to this move.

4 posted on 08/26/2006 1:25:32 PM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: FairOpinion
over the past 54 years a concrete jungle had grown up around him

It's not the jungle of concrete, but the lack of recorded property titles that keeps this country from emerging from third world existence. A huge, industrious population stymied forever. They are as capitalist as they come, yet do not have second order capitalism, the secret of the West.

5 posted on 08/26/2006 1:27:58 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: FairOpinion
Another pre-move ph9oto:

Buses drive past the Pharoah Ramses II statue, suffering from the ravages of pollution, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, in this June 28, 2006 file photo. The giant statute of Pharaoh Ramses II began being moved early Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 from a congested downtown square to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids, in a bid to save it from damaging pollution and traffic gridlock. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

6 posted on 08/26/2006 1:28:08 PM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: FairOpinion

"Ramses is maybe our last thing to be proud of. Since Ramses, we didn't really do much"...

Islam will do that to you.


7 posted on 08/26/2006 1:32:35 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: FairOpinion
"I used to come to sit at the Everest Hotel in the square, right in front of this statue, only to look at it," he recalled. "Ramses is maybe our last thing to be proud of. Since Ramses, we didn't really do much."

Haha! He was impressive, but don't sell yourself short.

8 posted on 08/26/2006 1:33:45 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup (Assistant to the traveling secretary.)
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To: FairOpinion
"Ramses II was one of ancient Egypt's most impressive, and prolific, pharaohs."

Known by millions of men and women all over the world.


9 posted on 08/26/2006 1:36:23 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: PzLdr

I believe a condom was named after him..


10 posted on 08/26/2006 1:38:16 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: sheik yerbouty

He was a Trojan?? I though he was Egyptian!!


11 posted on 08/26/2006 1:45:40 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: FairOpinion

False Gods and graven images; so crap, different millenium......

They never change.


12 posted on 08/26/2006 1:46:53 PM PDT by Finalapproach29er (Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II --> Appeasing Islam for 27 years)
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To: Cobra64
Known by millions of men and women all over the world.

I just KNEW that was coming....

errrrr...

Never mind...

13 posted on 08/26/2006 2:04:38 PM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: PzLdr

Ramses and Anwar Sadat....there's a pair of aces!


14 posted on 08/26/2006 3:53:59 PM PDT by Duffboy
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To: Gorzaloon; Cobra64

I wouldn't have touched that joke with a ten foo- uh, forget it...


15 posted on 08/26/2006 4:03:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; blam; Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks!

Here are links to photos of a basically identical (and contemporary) statue, still laying in the pit where excavated in ancient Memphis, the source of the one just moved from Cairo to Giza:

http://www.archaeology.co.uk/cwa/issues/cwa9/cwa9.htm

http://www.alovelyworld.com/webegypt/htmgb/egy07.htm

http://www.ianandwendy.com/slideshow/OtherTrips/Egypt/Cairo/Sakkara/picture20.htm

http://www.kenseamedia.com/quick/mempic.htm

Slide show and story on the moving of the Ramses II statue:

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/08/25/egypt.africa.ap/index.html

http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/world/0608/gallery.ramses.statue/frameset.exclude.html

related:

http://www.utexas.edu/courses/classicalarch/images1/ramesses.jpg


16 posted on 08/26/2006 4:06:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: FairOpinion; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks FairO'. :')

GGG has reached 613 members (total of individual ping list and once a week digest list).

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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17 posted on 08/26/2006 4:10:02 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: FairOpinion

I did a little research on Ramses the great maybe a year ago. I was surprised to learn he had red wavy hair. At first they thought because his hair had been dyed with henna, that it had been changed from his natural color but it turned out it was red to start with.

Scientsts who studied his hair roots, using an electron microscope said they are certain about it.

Makes one wonder just who the ancient Egyptians really were. Of course Ramses might have been from a different race than the average Egyptian.

I bet if they show him in a modern movie he will be portrayed as Black.


18 posted on 08/26/2006 4:14:58 PM PDT by yarddog
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Whoops.

This link:

http://www.archaeology.co.uk/cwa/issues/cwa9/cwa9.htm

Shows the statue that got moved. I just plastered the link into the wrong spot. Sorry for the inconvenience.


19 posted on 08/26/2006 4:16:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: FairOpinion

Excellent they moved it, it belongs with the pyramids.


20 posted on 08/26/2006 5:06:57 PM PDT by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: PzLdr

"Ramses"


21 posted on 08/26/2006 10:12:44 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: sheik yerbouty
I believe a condom was named after him..

Funny considering the man had 120 kids.

.

22 posted on 09/10/2006 10:00:22 AM PDT by MissCalico
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To: FairOpinion

I wonder which mover (were they American?)they used. I love watching those tv shows that document those massive moves. But then again they built them, I guess they can move them too


23 posted on 09/10/2006 10:16:09 AM PDT by MadelineZapeezda (Madeline Albright ZaPeezda, no doubt about it!)
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To: MissCalico

They had a poor sense of timing!


24 posted on 09/11/2006 6:44:43 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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25 posted on 03/14/2008 11:30:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
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