Egypt Threatens Removal of Ancient Central Park Obelisk
2011 01 10

By Andrea Leontiou | LiveScience.com



Since 1881, the obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle has stood in New York’s Central Park, but a letter from the secretary general of Egypt’s 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 – the other currently resides in London – 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 Hawass’ concern that the obelisk wasn’t being well taken care of, Vickie Carp, director of public affairs for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation told LiveScience, "that’s 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 doesn’t 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 doesn’t:

Referring to antiquities at the British Museum, he said “These are Egyptian monuments. I will make life miserable for anyone who keeps them.”

~E





Also tune into:

Robert Bauval - Tutankhamun’s DNA, Zahi Hawass Chasing Mummies & Robert’s Egypt Tour

Andrew Collins - Giza’s 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, Egypt’s Oldest Art, Nativity Scene Star Map & Poussin’s Shepherds of Arcadia






Related Articles
Zahi Hawass, antiquities dictator?
Angry Egypt demands Britain returns Rosetta Stone
Egypt’s Zahi Hawass calls Beyonce “stupid person”
Egypt’s Cave Underworld Under Investigation – Egyptian archaeological team move in to find answers
King Tut: DNA studies reveal Malaria, Not Murder
King Tut’s 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

Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy
2014 08 29
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April. “The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said. At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits
2014 08 29
The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
Kiev loses control of Novoazovsk, rebel troops advance in southeast Ukraine
2014 08 29
Kiev’s troops had to leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk to save their lives, said the country’s Security and Defense Council. The authorities admitted that self-defense forces are advancing and leading a counteroffensive in the southeast. Along with Novoazovsk, Kiev troops have lost control over the villages of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine. According to Ukraine’s ...
Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo
2014 08 29
For the first time in the capital city’s history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday. Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever. Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is ...
Beaten to Death at McDonald’s
2014 08 29
To the four clean-cut college freshman out on a double date, it had seemed like a typical McDonald’s: spanking clean, well-lighted, and safe. It was in a good neighborhood too, right next to Texas A&M University in College Station -- a campus known for its friendly atmosphere and official down-home greeting: “howdy.” Shortly after 2 A.M. that Sunday, they pulled into ...
More News »