Egypt denies the collapse of the hanging obelisk

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 8 Oct 2020

The Grand Egyptian Museum in cooperation with a specialised company, conducted an experiment to start the process of transferringone of the three parts of King Ramses II’s obelisk.

The obelisk, which is located in the museum's open yard, is being prepared for its reassembling and lifting up in what will be its permanent display location at the outer courtyard of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

Major General Atef Moftah, General Supervisor of the GEM project and its surrounding area, denies the rumours that claim that the obelisk had collapsed adding that these rumours are unfounded.

“Simply, the obelisk was not yet reassembled or lifted up in place for it to fall down,” Moftah said.

He explains that what has been done was only an experiment to move one of the three parts of the obelisk, but due to some cracks and fissures small parts of it were separated, in order for the process to be carried out according to scientific studies on how to correctly preserve the monument.

Moftah stated that there are no opportunities for errors when restoring and transferring this part of the obelisk or when restoring any other. As only specialists in this field perform this task, in collaboration with specialized companies that transport gigantic artifacts with the help of special equipment.

“All the work is carried out under the full supervision of the GEM staff,” he added. 

He continued architectural and archaeological studies on the three parts of the obelisk have been conducted. These studies indicate that the obelisk was moved from the San Al-Haggar archaeological site divided into three parts.

Accurate scientific and archaeological studies were conducted to uncover the state of its preservation, and to understand all the conditions surrounding it before starting its restoration, assembly and lift up. The Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University carried out an integrated engineering study on the body of the obelisk as well as doing research on the method of erecting it. All while choosing the optimal method for fixing and consolidating it, along with locating the anchors that connect the parts.

The obelisk will be assembled and erected soon, after ensuring the completion of all the necessary geological, archaeological and architectural research and studies.

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