Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ramses statue finds serene home in Cairo
The giant statue of Pharaoh Ramses II will be moved next month from a congested downtown square to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids, in a bid to save it from damaging pollution and traffic gridlock, Egypt's antiquities chief said on Monday.

Exhaust fumes from trains, cars and buses and subway vibrations are eating away at the more than 3 200-year-old granite statue at Ramses Square, its home since the early 1950s when it was taken from a temple at the site of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

To try to prevent further deterioration, the 125 ton statue - a popular feature on postcards and guide books - will be part of the new Grand Museum of Egypt, to be located about two kilometres from the pyramids, Hawass said.