Loading the parts of the colossus on the truck. photo Nevine El-Aref
On Wednesday a newly discovered colossus, presumed to depict Ramses II, will be moved from the working-class suburb of Matariya where it was uncovered to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square.
Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Ancient Egyptian department at the antiquities ministry, told Ahram Online that the two parts of the colossus as well as the bust of Seti II which was also found at the site will be loaded onto trucks at 1am to begin their journey to the museum in a "royal convoy".
The statues will be restored and then placed on temporary display at the museum, which houses many of Egypt's best-known treasures such as the funerary collection of Tutankhamun.
The loading and transportation process were carried out by the antiquities ministry's restorers and archaeologists in collaboration with the transportation department of Egypt’s armed forces, which have provided all the required trucks and equipment.
The colossus will in the future be moved to the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, which is scheduled to open in mid-2018. It will be put on a special display with the bust of Seti I and other artifacts discovered in Matariya.
German and Egyptian archaologists uncovered the huge broken statue late last week in Matariya, a Cairo slum district.
The first part was removed from the watery pit it was found in using a forklift truck, creating a media controversy about the efficiency and safety of the process. The second part, which includes the torso, was removed on Monday using a crane, which is said to be safer for the object.
The torso loaded on the truck. Photo Nevine El-Aref