Restoration begins of more King Ramses II statues at Luxor Temple

Statue of Ramses II. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 September 2019

Restoration begins of more King Ramses II statues at Luxor Temple

  • The remains and blocks of these statues were discovered between 1958 and 1961 during the excavations of the archaeologist Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Kader.

CAIRO: Egypt has begun a new international project in Luxor with the collection, restoration and reinstallation of two statues of King Ramses II.

The plan follows the restoration and assembly during the past three years of three statues of the ruler at Luxor Temple.

During his recent visit to Luxor, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani gave the green light for the restoration of two more statues of the pharaonic king at the western side of the temple.

Ahmed Arabi, managing director of the temple, said the statues belong to the 19th Dynasty and are made from red granite.

The remains and blocks of these statues were discovered between 1958 and 1961 during the excavations of the archaeologist Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Kader.

The statues, which fell apart years ago, have raised controversy after their restoration. This arises from the fact that one of the recently restored statues stands in the Osirian position, the “death position” of the ancient Egyptians, in which the statue’s feet are equal. That runs contrary to the tradition followed in all Egyptian temples, which is not to put the statues of kings in this position.

Director of the temple Ahmed Arabi said that his department had presented the idea of restoring the three statues. “We recently found pieces of the two other statues of Ramses II in the western facade of the temple. They will also be installed in the same place where they were found.” 

Arabi said that the statues will be renovated in cooperation with the Egyptian archaeological mission led by Dr. Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, under the supervision of Ahmed Badr El-Din, of Luxor Temple, and the Chicago Institute of Oriental Archaeology headed by Dr. Ray Johnson. Work has already begun by studying the two statues, assembling their blocks, and documenting and photographing them. Each statue is seven meters high, again in the Osirian position.

Dr. Waziri confirmed that the two new statues have been placed next to the other statues in preparation for restoration, pointing out that there is writing on one of the pieces bearing the name Ramses II. The pieces include the upper half of a statue, two parts from the shoulders overlapping each other, the dress and the statues’ necks. It also has parts of the face.

King Ramses II is one of the most famous monarchs of ancient Egypt, ruling from 1279 to 1213 BC.


Anger erupts over Syrian refugee drama ‘Aleppo’ starring Olivia Munn

Updated 26 September 2020

Anger erupts over Syrian refugee drama ‘Aleppo’ starring Olivia Munn

DUBAI: It’s been announced that US actress Olivia Munn is set to play the lead in feature drama “Aleppo,” a story about a Syrian refugee and UN journalist (Munn), who are brought together by their escape from war-afflicted Syria. 

However, people are not pleased with Munn’s casting, and have taken to social media to express their discontent.

Many online users are concerned that the film will center on a Western journalist, while the Syrian refugee will simply be seen as an extra. 

“The onslaught on Aleppo was one of the most traumatic events for Syrians in Syria and for the diaspora,” wrote one user on Twitter following the news. “Spinning the tragedy to center it around some hypothetical journalist for a Westerner to star in is disgusting,” they added.

Another user wrote: “Oh yay a ‘Syrian refugee drama’ that is actually about a white lady. Just what we need, another white savior movie.”

“Just call it ‘The White Savior,’ why muck about?” added another.

Meanwhile, others are accusing the American actress of allegedly profiting from the Syrian war, which has claimed the lives of at least 400,000 and left millions displaced.

“Shame on everyone involved, including @oliviamunn, for using the Syrian tragedy to make $$$ while my people are being starved, murdered and tortured. How about uplift the existing documentaries that Syrians literally risked their life to document (sic),” tweeted a user.

Another wrote, “The world did nothing to help Aleppo when Assad was destroying it. Now they want to cash in.”

“Aleppo,” which is currently in pre-production in Los Angeles, will be directed by Brazilian filmmaker David Schurman.
The casting of the Syrian starring character has yet to be announced.
Since the start of the Syrian war in 2011, many films and documentaries have been made about the tragedy, including “For Sama,” Waad Al-Kateab’s critically-acclaimed documentary.