Yesterday, after Friday prayers, worshipers and inhabitants of the Delta town of Mansura were faced with the off-white colossus of 12th Dynasty King Sesostris I laying on its left side in Al-Muwafi Square, where it was erected 10 years ago.
Rumours spread that Salafis were behind it, as a thick rope was found around the statue’s waist. “The rope is an indication that it was toppled intentionally,” said Mahmoud Hassan, a worker looking on.
Mansura Governor Major General Salah El-Maadawi said, however, that Salafis were not behind the collapse of the statue, but that erosion was to blame.
Atef Abul Daha, head of the Ancient Egyptian Monuments Department at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) said the fallen statue was not an authentic but rather a replica. The original is on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
“The replica was carved almost 105 years ago in order to be erected in Al-Muwafi Square to celebrate the opening of Al-Mansura National Museum,” Abul Dahab told Ahram Online.
El-Maadawi said that the statue will be restored and re-erected in its original position at the square.