Egypt Threatens Removal of Ancient Central Park Obelisk
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.”
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
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
The Truth About Starbucks New Coconut Milk: It Isn’t Really Coconut Milk
In an attempt to appeal to the non-dairy crowd, Starbucks is bringing “coconut milk” to the masses. After a successful trial run in select cities at the behest of their customers, Starbucks has decided to push forward with their dairy alternative.
Providing a non-dairy alternative to dairy and soy is the second most requested customer idea of all time from MyStarbucksIdea.com, ...
USDA on board with shipping U.S. chickens to China for processing, then re-entry to States for human consumption
“Chinese chicken” will soon have a whole new meaning, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, allowing chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be exported to China for processing, and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold on grocery shelves here. Furthermore, the imported processed ...
Feinstein: Netanyahu does not speak for all Jews
US Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “arrogant” man who does not speak for all Jews.
The Jewish lawmaker made the remarks in an interview with CNN on Sunday ahead of Netanyahu's controversial visit to the United States.
The Israeli premier arrived in Washington, DC, on Sunday night ...
Netanyahu to US: Don’t negotiate ‘bad deal’ with Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the United States not to negotiate “a very bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear energy program.
Speaking at a joint session of the US Congress in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Netanyahu said, “We’ve been told for over a year that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a ...
School Textbook: “There’s No Such Thing as Reverse Racism” Only White People can be Racist
Only white people can be racist.
A school textbook teaches students that “there is no such thing as reverse racism” and that women can never be as sexist as men.
The passage, which appears to be taken from a “multicultural education series” book entitled Is Everyone Equal, states, “STOP: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the ...
|More News » |