CAIRO: The renovation of Cleopatra’s Needle; Egypt’s 3,500 year-old obelisk which towers above the east side of Central Park in New York, has been completed.
“I am proud to inaugurate the obelisk after a year of renovation which included using laser to eradicate the dirt and grime that has accumulated on the Obelisk since it was brought from Egypt in 1880s,” Egypt’s Consul General in New York Ahmed Farouk was quoted by Youm7 Wednesday.
Farouk added that glue was also used to fix sections that have become weak with age.
Cleopatra’s Needle is the oldest man-made object in Central Park, and the oldest outdoor monument in New York City, according to the Central Park website.
“Gifted to the U.S. government by Egypt’s Khedive Ismaiel in the 1880s, the 69-foot and 220-ton pink granite monument was transported from Egypt to New York via the Mediterranean and the UK’s Hudson River,” ancient Egyptian history professor Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
On January 22, 1881, the Obelisk was erected New York’s Central Park.
“Both New York’s Obelisk, and its twin, currently stands by the River Thames in London were originally erected outside an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor,” said Sabban.
An entrance gate to ancient Egyptian temple was often flanked by two obelisks, one each side in order to notify the temple location, he added.