Egypt completes restoration of 95 percent of Karnak Temples’ columns

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 20 Jan 2024

Nestled in Luxor’s iconic Karnak Temple, 95 percent of the columns of the Great Hypostyle Hall have been completed, bringing back the original engravings and colours of its ancient Egyptian inscriptions.

Karnak Temples

 

The work was carried out by Egyptian young restorers from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in collaboration with their colleagues among the restoration department graduates from Luxor and South Valley universities as well as Luxor Restoration Institute, Mostafa Waziry, secretary-general of the SCA, affirmed.

They were able to clean the surface of the columns, removing sand, dust, and bird deposits which accumulated for ages hiding the columns’ original engravings and colours.

The restoration work adheres to international conservation standards and protocols.

“For the first time, visitors of the Karnak’s Hypostyle Hall will be able to admire its original scenery,” Waziry pointed out, adding that the first phase of the project started in July 2021 with the restoration of 28 columns out of the 134 columns of the hall, each of which is 20 metres in height.

The second phase started immediately after the completion of the first phase, and the hall is to be inaugurated soon.

Since Karnak was the largest and most important religious complex in ancient Egypt, its development never has ceased for over 1000 years. It is located in the south of Upper Egypt on the east bank of the city of Luxor, displaying several temples, obelisks, and shrines built throughout the Middle and New Kingdoms.

The temple of Amun-Ra is particularly famous for the vast Hypostyle Hall constructed during the reign of King Seti I. Ptolemaic rulers and Copts had altered parts of the complex for their use.

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