Egypt moves unearthed 3,000-year-old statue to Cairo museum
The Egyptian authorities moved on early Thursday morning the recently unearthed three-milennia-old statue believed to be of ancient King Ramses II to the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, official MENA news agency reported.
The report said that the 8.5-ton colossus was moved by the armed forces in cooperation with the ministry of antiquities to be initially reassembled and restored at the Cairo museum before being transferred to its final destination at the Grand Egyptian Museum near the Great Pyramids of Giza that is scheduled to be soft opened in 2018.
The statue was discovered by an Egyptian-German archaeological mission at the Cairo district of Matariya.
The first part, weighing about three tons and including large sections of the king's crown and head, was lifted from a muddy ditch with groundwater last week. The second part was picked up on Tuesday amid cheers and applause of residents.
The 26-foot quartzite statue is believed to be originally located at the undiscovered temple of King Ramses II near the Sun Temples in an area of ancient Heliopolis, now a working-class neighborhood called Matariya.
King Ramses II is one of the oldest Pharaohs and the third of the 19th Dynasty. He ruled ancient Egypt for 66 years, until he was over 90, from 1279 to 1213 BC.