Egypt Threatens Removal of Ancient Central Park Obelisk
By Andrea Leontiou | LiveScience.com
Since 1881, the obelisk known as Cleopatraís Needle has stood in New Yorkís Central Park, but a letter from the secretary general of Egyptís Supreme Council of Antiquities indicates that this may change if the monument is not taken better care of.
Recently, Zahi Hawass, the aforementioned secretary general and archaeologist, wrote to the Central Park Conservancy and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to inform them that if steps are not taken to protect the obelisk, it would be removed.
"I am glad that this monument has become such an integral part of New York City, but I am dismayed at the lack of care and attention that it has been given," Hawass wrote. "Recent photographs that I have received show the severe damage that has been done to the obelisk, particularly to the hieroglyphic text, which in places has been completely worn away. I have a duty to protect all Egyptian monuments whether they are inside or outside of Egypt. If the Central Park Conservancy and the City of New York cannot properly care for this obelisk, I will take the necessary steps to bring this precious artifact home and save it from ruin."
Close-up of text on the obelisk which has been severely eroded from exposure to the elements.
(Photo: Richard Paschal and Dorothy McCarthy).
The obelisk was originally one of a pair Ė the other currently resides in London Ė built around 1500 B.C. to honor Pharaoh Thutmose III. They were placed in the ancient city Heliopolis in Egypt, where they sat for a little over 1,500 years until 18 A.D., when they were taken by the Romans and placed at the entrance of the Ceasarium in Alexandria, according to TravellersinEgypt.com, a website that compiles information from people who have traveled in Egypt.
In 1869, to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal, the Khedive of Egypt, Ismail Pasha, gave the United States the obelisk that now sits in Central Park. The gift was an attempt to cultivate trade relations between the two countries, according to the Central Park Conservancy. It would still take another decade for the obelisk to reach the park.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant-Commander Henry H. Gorringe was charged with the task of transporting the 71-foot (21 meter), 224-ton obelisk from Alexandria to New York City. The project was funded by William H. Vanderbilt, at the cost of $102,576, according to TravellersinEgypt.com. When the obelisk finally reached the shores of the Hudson, there were still 112 days left in its journey to its current location.
Gorringe had to build a track to transport the obelisk on land to Central Park (the obelisk moved about 100 feet per day across 96th Street to Broadway, south to 86th St., and east toward the park), then raise the monument into its assigned location, according to Archaeology Magazine. The obelisk was erected in January 1881 in Central Park; nearly two-and-a-half years after Gorringe first set sail for Alexandria.
Hawass finished his letter, which is posted on his blog, by writing "I strongly urge you to focus your efforts on saving this obelisk and preserving it for future generations. I am confident that you can find the resources in New York City to conserve this monument properly and pay this treasure the respect that it deserves. I eagerly await your prompt reply."
When asked about Hawassí concern that the obelisk wasnít being well taken care of, Vickie Carp, director of public affairs for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation told LiveScience, "thatís not true."
A statement from Jonathan Kuhn, director of Art and Antiquities for the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation states: "We have been working in recent years with the Metropolitan Museum and the Central Park Conservancy to further analyze the condition of the obelisk and monitor its condition. There is no evidence at this point of any significant ongoing erosion."
Article from: livescience.com
[Ed Note: If Dr. Hawass doesnít get the obelisk, will he go cry to his mummy? ;)
But seriously, does the Supreme Council of Antiquities have the influence and power to force a removal of what, for all intents, was a gift that now belongs to the United States?
I would doubt it. But Hawass doesnít:
Referring to antiquities at the British Museum, he said ďThese are Egyptian monuments. I will make life miserable for anyone who keeps them.Ē
Also tune into:
Robert Bauval - Tutankhamunís DNA, Zahi Hawass Chasing Mummies & Robertís Egypt Tour
Andrew Collins - Gizaís Cave Underworld Update
Andrew Collins - Beneath The Pyramids, Giza Cave System Rediscovered
Greg, Occult of Personality - Esoteric Astrology & New Age Implications
Carmen Boulter - The Pyramid Code, Band of Peace, The Migration of the Nile & Cosmic Cycles
Carmen Boulter - Pyramid Energy, The Age of the Sphinx & The Pyramids
Andrew Collins - Beneath The Pyramids, Giza Cave System Rediscovered
Andrew Collins - The Cygnus Mystery
Robert Temple - Egyptian Dawn & The Osiris Shaft
William Glyn-Jones - Lascaux Cave Art, Egyptís Oldest Art, Nativity Scene Star Map & Poussinís Shepherds of Arcadia
Zahi Hawass, antiquities dictator?
Angry Egypt demands Britain returns Rosetta Stone
Egyptís Zahi Hawass calls Beyonce ďstupid personĒ
Egyptís Cave Underworld Under Investigation Ė Egyptian archaeological team move in to find answers
King Tut: DNA studies reveal Malaria, Not Murder
King Tutís DNA is Western European?
Return of artifacts to Egypt - Wikipedia
Chasing Mummies (Video)
Monumental sculpture "Cyclisk" : Obelisk in CA
Domes, Obelisks, and Magic Squares, O My!
First phase of Aksum Obelisk re-installation successfully completed
Obelisk looted by Mussolini to be re-erected after 70 years
Obelisks around the World
Latest News from our Front Page
Where the Islamic State Gets Its Weapons
Early one morning in late February, a European investigator working in Kobani, the northern Syrian city that for months had been a battleground between Kurdish fighters and militants from the Islamic State, stepped outside the building where he was staying and saw something unusual. A Kurd on the street was carrying a long black assault rifle that the investigator thought ...
Garland Shooter Elton Simpson ‚ÄėHandled‚Äô By Paid FBI Informant
In our story released late last night, we posed this question to our readers:
‚ÄúWere these supposed ‚Äėdead gunmen‚Äô part of the drill, or were they patsies handled by a counter-terrorism federal ‚Äėinformant‚Äô?‚Äú
We didn‚Äôt know it at the time, but it turns out that we were right.
Image: ‚ÄėGarland Gunman‚Äô Elton Simpson, adjusting his CCTV camera at his apartment in Phoenix, AZ.
What is Sacred to Americans?
The free speech fest in Texas that resulted in the police shooting of two apparent terrorists at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland marks growing prominence and qualified support for the movement for free speech for anti-Muslim satire, led by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a well-financed New York group.
No similar type of organization in America dares to test ...
A Lesson for New York Cops: How to Subdue Brawlers Without Hurting Them
Every day in America police assault, injury and kill people who do not pose a threat to them.
‚ÄúThe increase in police brutality in the U.S. is a frightening reality. In the last decade alone the number of people murdered by police has reached 5,000. While the number of soldiers killed since the inception of the Iraq war is 4,489,‚ÄĚ The ...
Israel Is Preparing For Alien Invasion - Are The 'Tall White' Aliens Coming?
Earlier in the week, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted a training exercise for its Air Force cyber unit, the ‚ÄúOfek‚ÄĚ (Horizon). The training exercise was based on a scenario in which the world is under attack by alien invaders, and IDF tech forces are faced with the challenge of sabotaging the advanced technological systems of attacking alien spacecraft.
Although Lt. ...
|More News » |