The recently restored statue of King Amenhotep III will be ready to receive visitors starting next Sunday 14 December in its temple at Luxor’s West Bank, declared Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh al-Damati.
Mr Damati explained that the Egyptian German mission completed the assembly of the colossal statue which had been found broken into four huge blocs and 500 smaller parts.
The statue was ruined during an earthquake which had hit the region and destroyed the temple some 3000 years ago. According to Abdel Hakim Karar director of the Upper Egypt Antiquities Department the 13 metre-high, 50 ton statue which represents the Pharaoh standing on four-metre pedestals, is made of limestone and depicts him wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Along with another statue, Amenhotep’s statue once flanked the northern entrance of the temple which was dedicated to Amenhotep himself.
The statues were first discovered in 1933. In February 2013, an Egyptian European mission rediscovered them in a farm next to the Pharaoh’s mortuary temple west of Luxor. The statues, which were submerged in irrigation water, were dug out and restoration work conducted.
According to Karar, the temple, along with several statues and pillars, was badly damaged by a severe earthquake in 27BC. The restoration work, he said, was based on carvings found on the back of one of the statues showing how they looked when erected.
When both statues are restored, they will join the famous Colossi of Memnon, two other seated statues of Amenhotep III flanking the northern entrance of the temple.
“The temple is 10 times bigger than other mortuary temples in Luxor’s West Bank, but all its walls have been destroyed, but whatever was inside is still there. Restorers are working to bring it back to its original magnificence.
Amenhotep III, the 9th pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, ruled Egypt from 1386BC to 1349BC. His reign is believed to have marked the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilisation.
13 December 2014