Luxor celebrates restoration of Amenhotep III statues
Memnon Colossi of Amenhotep III - Photo courtesy of panoramio

CAIRO:  An international celebration was held Sunday in Luxor to commemorate the restoration of two statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, known as emperor of the Pharaohs’ Kings.

The temple is famous for the statue of Memnon colossi — twin statues of Amenhotep III — that are reportedly 3,400 years old, reported AFP.

The statue was discovered in the funerary temple at Koum al-Hetaan in Luxor, but only after it had been destroyed by an earthquake.

The statue will be unveiled in a massive celebration within a week, and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim and Luxor governor Major General Saad al-Deen will be invited, reported Al-Akhbar newspaper.

According to Al-Badeel, the head of Public Relations at the General Antiquities Authority in Luxor Ahmed Khalifa said Monday that the team affiliated with the Ministry of Antiquities in coordination with a German delegation held a celebration for inserting the last piece into the temple.

During the Sunday celebration, the head of the Egyptian antiquities sector Ali al-Asfaar said on behalf of the Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim that the celebration is in honor of the European delegation that coordinated with the Ministry of Antiquities to complete the project, reported Al-Badeel.

Completing such a project depicts the country’s stable security situation, which will bring more tourists to Egypt and particularly to Luxor, Asfaar added.

German-Armenian archaeologist and head of the European delegation Hourig Sourouzian said “The world until now knew of two Memnon colossi, but from today on it will know of four colossi of Amenhotep,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to Al-Akhbar newspaper, she said they started working on the project in 1998 by documenting the visible pieces from the statue and since 2011 they have been restoring the discovered pieces.

During the celebration, the General Manager of Upper Egypt Antiquities Abdel Hakeem Karar said more than 50 specialists in different fields participated in the project, adding that two statues are considered to be the largest statues in Luxor.

According to Akhbar al-Youm, the project is supervised by an Egyptian team headed by the head of the antiquities sector Ali al-Asfar, the general manager of the antiquities of Upper Egypt Abdel Hameed Karar, and the European team was headed by Hourig Sourouzian along with several others.

Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) is the son of Thutmose IV. According to GMA news, the statue is 11.5 meters tall and the base is 1.5 meters high and 3.6 meters wide.

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