From a Ramses II Obelisk to Sphinx Statues, Here is What You Need to Know About the Tahrir Square Renovations
The Ramses II obelisk is finally fully installed in the middle of the iconic Tahrir Square. After being placed on a raised base, the pharaoh’s obelisk stands now at a height of 19 meters and weighs around 90 tons. It was separated into parts, moved to the square, restored, and installed in different stages during the past few months.
The decision of moving it to Tahrir square was taken as a part of the government’s development plan to restore and beautify Cairo’s historic square.
Parts of the obelisk were unearthed last August in San el Hagar archeological site in Sharqiyah Governorate. Then, it was severed into 8 blocks and transferred to Cairo.
Made of pink granite, the obelisk has beautiful inscriptions depicting king Ramses II standing before one of the pharaonic gods. The top part of it is in the form of a Harem, the shape of a pyramid, and the titles of the King are carved on it.
Despite national and international criticism, four sphinx statues from the Karnak Temple in Luxor are also set to be displayed in Tahrir Square. The growing concerns are regarding the process of relocating the monuments to one of Cairo’s busiest squares, and the followed difficulties of maintaining the safety of them after being displayed.
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities addressed these concerns saying that the process of moving the statues went under tight security that ensured the safety of the monuments, and there is no danger for either the statues or the people on the square.
The Tahrir Square renovations also include painting the buildings around the square and beautifying it with palm trees and plants. The work is almost complete as the project is set to be finished by the end of this month.