CAIRO: The view of thousands of tourists of the bi-annual solar alignment over the Abu Simbel temple was spoiled by clouds Monday, reported Youm7.
The crowds reportedly arrived in the early morning to the temple, southwest of the tourist city of Aswan, to observe the phenomenon of solar alignment as they do every year, but the sun, which should have passed over the face of Ramses II, was blocked by clouds.
Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh el-Damaty, Minister of Culture Helmy el-Nemnem left the site after they waited for 20 minutes.
Both ministers and Aswan Governor Magdy Hegazy participated in a celebration on Sunday, in which local and international artist teams performed.
The Abu Simbel temples are among seven archaeological sites in Egypt on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
For most of the year, the inner sanctuary of Pharaoh Ramses II’s (1279B.C.–1213 B.C.) main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness. However, the temple was built so that a shaft of sunlight pierces the gloom and illuminates statues of God Amun Re and the Pharaoh in the temple’s inner shrine twice a year; Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and Feb. 22, which marks his coronation day.