CAIRO – The Egyptian authorities transferred on Thursday the colossus of Pharaoh Ramses II to its new display location in the main hall of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, at the foot of the pyramids, in southwestern Cairo.
In a 400-meter journey, which lasted about an hour, the 12-meter-high statue weighing 83 tons was towed by a special truck to the partially-built museum, whose opening will be within 12 months, Egyptian antiquities minister Khaled al-Anani told a news conference in front of the colossus.
At its opening, the museum will be “one of the largest museums in the world,” whose area will be about 50 hectares.
The ceremony was accompanied by a band and a delegation of diplomats and Egyptian representatives, on the Egyptian holiday of Jan. 25, the holiday commemorating the seventh anniversary of the 2011 revolution and the country’s police forces.
Al-Anani described the new Grand Egyptian Museum and what it represented – that is ancient Egyptian civilization and culture – as another way for Egypt to combat terrorist elements.
This is the fourth time for the colossal statue of Ramses II – which until 2006 was in Ramses Square in downtown Cairo – to be moved.
Considered by many to be the greatest pharaoh of all time and known as Ramses the Great, Ramses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty and ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.
He lived 87 years and ruled for 66 of those years (between 1279-1213 BC) and built many of the most important ancient Egyptian monuments.