CAIRO: Video clips showing a life-size replica of Egypt’s Sphinx in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of China’s northeast province of Hebei, went viral across social media websites.
“China doing, what it does better … copying! And then the inevitable outcome … failing!” said Tomasse, a user on Kotaku.com video website, commenting on the Chinese Sphinx video.
The under-construction Chinese version of the Sphinx is part of a new theme park, featuring fake cityscapes to attract tourists and be used for movie production purposes, according to the Wall Street Journal.
One of the videos, apparently shot by a passerby, features the workers tasked with the construction of the project saying the statue is being built to be exactly the same size as the one in Egypt.
“You can visit Disneyland in China; you can visit Silvermoon in China… I have no doubt that you will soon be able to visit a scale model of China in China,” said Aeron Michaelangelo, a user at Kotaku.com videos website.
Another video shows a busy road with the head of the Sphinx, with its broken nose visible in a distance.
Unlike the Egyptian Sphinx which was carved from one piece of limestone, the Chinese version is made of a reinforced steel framework and a concrete body.
“Yeah. Are they sure that it’s steel and concrete? I’d bet money that it’s truthfully just made of lead and coated with bromine,” said Kidy Dynamite, a user on Kotaku.
The broken nose of the original Sphinx, which remains a mystery among archaeologists, is mimicked in the Chinese Version.
A user on Newsflare, a video website, uploaded a video of the replica and said that it took the workers just two months to construct it.
The Sphinx dates back to 2500 BC and is strongly believed to represent Pharaoh Khafra, for whom the second pyramid in Giza was built to serve as his resting place.
The Sphinx stands for the wisdom, power and the authority of the Pharaoh and features a lion’s body and human head representing the Pharaoh’s facial features, Former Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Dr. Abdel Halim Nour el-Din told The Cairo Post.
“The Sphinx was buried under sands since the 641 AD Arab conquest to Egypt and was not completely excavated before 1920s,” said Din.
This is not the first attempt to replicate the Sphinx. The Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino houses several replicas of ancient Egyptian monuments including a Sphinx.