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Bringing Back The Antiquities
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Calypsos
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject: Bringing Back The Antiquities Reply with quote

Here's something from Hawass' site

Do you think he could make good to take it back to Egypt?

===

"I have a duty to protect all Egyptian monuments whether they are inside or outside of Egypt. If the Central Park Conservancy and the City of New York cannot properly care for this obelisk, I will take the necessary steps to bring this precious artifact home and save it from ruin.


Close-up of text on the obelisk which has been severely eroded from exposure to the elements. (Photo: Richard Paschal and Dorothy McCarthy)
I strongly urge you to focus your efforts on saving this obelisk and preserving it for future generations. I am confident that you can find the resources in New York City to conserve this monument properly and pay this treasure the respect that it deserves. I eagerly await your prompt reply."

I hope that this letter will spur the city of New York into action. This obelisk is a one of a kind monument that cannot be replicated or replaced. I sincerely hope that both the Mayor of New York City and the Central Park Conservancy can work together to save this artifact and preserve it for many more generations to come."
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's good to raise the issue. It's sad how much the obelisk has been allowed to deteriorate. I would argue that a replica would be better suited to withstanding the elements, and if so, why not send the original back to Egypt?
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Toth
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing Back The Antiquities Reply with quote

Calypsos wrote:
Here's something from Hawass' site

Do you think he could make good to take it back to Egypt?

===

"I have a duty to protect all Egyptian monuments whether they are inside or outside of Egypt. If the Central Park Conservancy and the City of New York cannot properly care for this obelisk, I will take the necessary steps to bring this precious artifact home and save it from ruin.


Close-up of text on the obelisk which has been severely eroded from exposure to the elements. (Photo: Richard Paschal and Dorothy McCarthy)
I strongly urge you to focus your efforts on saving this obelisk and preserving it for future generations. I am confident that you can find the resources in New York City to conserve this monument properly and pay this treasure the respect that it deserves. I eagerly await your prompt reply."

I hope that this letter will spur the city of New York into action. This obelisk is a one of a kind monument that cannot be replicated or replaced. I sincerely hope that both the Mayor of New York City and the Central Park Conservancy can work together to save this artifact and preserve it for many more generations to come."


Perhaps he means well, but have a look at the open air monuments in Egypt (take a look at Hekat's gallery, the link is in her signature) do these look as if they were taken care of the way they should have been taken care of (ancient damage excluded, of course; let's be realistic!).

I don't know (Like I said before, I don't know the man that well, only form earlier reports!) his ultimate motives, but it almost looks as if he wants to transform Egyt into a great Disney Land, Pharaoh-world, or perhaps even Hawass~, or Zahi world; I haven't the faintest clue about his ambitions, and I am not so sure I do want to know!

Richard, aka
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Calypsos
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultimately how much of antiquity was sold off by Egyptians to begin with.

It's nice to want to bring things back---but don't be so uppity about it.
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Ranoferhotep
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, Iíve visited Rome a few years ago and went off course on obelisk hunt since there are a dozen of it in that city. Quite a few stood in climbers for restoration. And they were covered with a sort of sheets with the depiction of the obelisk in real size. Apparently, even granite isnít strong enough to withstand pollution and sour rain. So in this case, I comply with the concerns of Hawass. Those are monuments of which one canít make very simply replicaís.
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Toth
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:
I must say, I’ve visited Rome a few years ago and went off course on obelisk hunt since there are a dozen of it in that city. Quite a few stood in climbers for restoration. And they were covered with a sort of sheets with the depiction of the obelisk in real size. Apparently, even granite isn’t strong enough to withstand pollution and sour rain. So in this case, I comply with the concerns of Hawass. Those are monuments of which one can’t make very simply replica’s.


Right, but will they be places inside or - just as that sarcophagus just out side the Egyptian Museum stand in the Egyptian elements. Like sand storms, rain (yes it rains there) and air pollution...? Is that what he has in mind?

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herper
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a few weeks ago I read a couple of articles on this subject. While I agree steps should be taken to preserve all ancient artifacts, the Metropolitan Museum, claims that the damage HZ is talking about is in fact ancient. HZ made no response to that info. Also watch any show with scenes inside the Cairo Museum and t is clear they should tend to their own neglect issues. Unless it is on display, most of the items from KV62 have only received Howard Carters and his teams field restoration work. They do not even have a current inventory of what is where, and or missing. HZ should remember the saying about those who life n glass houses throwing rocks.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Bringing Back The Antiquities Reply with quote

Calypsos wrote:
Do you think he could make good to take it back to Egypt?


First of all: how about the Egyptian government promote the sing of the Egyptian language (Copt) which is a living trait of the past they allegedly are very eager to preserve in their soil, and is very close to become a dead language (as already happened to some Nubian dialects in Upper Egypt)?

All this bring back stuff sounds quite hypocritical to me, while Copt language and culture are officially marginalized in Egypt.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heper, if you see photos of the obelisk in Central Park, you will not think that the damage could be ancient. Quite clearly, the stone is crumbling, obleterating the heiroglyphs. It's typical damage of stone, with several causes--pollution, acid rains and, the biggest, pure neglect. I don't know, at this point, if it would be at all possible to ship it back to Egypt. The removal from the park, the transportation to the Ports and the expense of shipping such a heavy weight would be, in this economy, very prohibative. But someone certainly needs to light a fire under the b**** of those that have allowed this to happen!
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Ranoferhotep
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Toth. Letís keep it simple. It is impossible to store all monuments inside. Especially obelisks, they are quite large. It is also not possible to bring all A.E. artifacts back to Egypt. And also in Egypt there is pollution. Maybe in some parts less air pollution and/or acid rain, but then is there the problem of rising groundwater and salt water coming inland that erodes the sandstone. It isnít an exclusively problem for Egyptian monuments, but monuments all over the world. Worldwide governments are trying to save monuments, preferably their own, and when possible imported monuments. This is an attempt to preserve the past. Now this attempt exist only about 200 years. Since the 19th century we are as mankind beginning to try (and this is a feeble attempt) to preserve our past. Whit current technology, funding, mankind will be able to save some, certainly not all.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:
@ Toth. Letís keep it simple. It is impossible to store all monuments inside. Especially obelisks, they are quite large. It is also not possible to bring all A.E. artifacts back to Egypt. And also in Egypt there is pollution. Maybe in some parts less air pollution and/or acid rain, but then is there the problem of rising groundwater and salt water coming inland that erodes the sandstone. It isnít an exclusively problem for Egyptian monuments, but monuments all over the world. Worldwide governments are trying to save monuments, preferably their own, and when possible imported monuments. This is an attempt to preserve the past. Now this attempt exist only about 200 years. Since the 19th century we are as mankind beginning to try (and this is a feeble attempt) to preserve our past. Whit current technology, funding, mankind will be able to save some, certainly not all.


I agree, except for one very important point. You say that governments world wide are working to save monuments--EXCEPT the obelisk in Central Park. Absolutely NO conservation work has been done on it--in fact, its condition was not even mentioed to the public until ZH pointed it out, and then the city quickly creeted the Conservation Commitee which, up to this point, has done nothing.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Osiris II, we could call that a form of bad government, but on the other hand I guess the city of New York and its government has more urgent issues to attend to. Restoration and conservation is quite costly, and even a city like New York has to work with a certain financial budget. Creating a Conservation Commitee is one thing, it has to be funded also, maybe there is the real problem, finance. It would be a pity that an important symbol of an ancient civilization, like the A.E. obelisk is, would crumble away and getís lost forever.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy The obelisk was a gift to the USA in the 19th century.
Seems to me that you cannot really ask for a gift back.
In that light the statement sounds more like a serious complaint and request for action.

The obelisk was part of a pair which stood before a temple called the Caesareum dedicated to Julius Caesar by Cleopatra VII in Alexandria.

They originally date back to the time of Thutmosis III, were reinscribed by Ramesses II. It was Octavian who had the obelisks moved to Alexandria and had them erected before the Caesareum. In the 19th century Mohamed Ali - a self declared Turkish Viceroy of Egypt and Sudan - decided to modernize Alexandria and got rid of both obelisks. One was erected on the bank of the Thames in 1879, the other erected in Central Park in 1880.

Considering the history of the obelisk (and its link to so many famous names) I think more should be done to preserve such a monument.
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Toth
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
Very Happy The obelisk was a gift to the USA in the 19th century.
Seems to me that you cannot really ask for a gift back.
In that light the statement sounds more like a serious complaint and request for action.

The obelisk was part of a pair which stood before a temple called the Caesareum dedicated to Julius Caesar by Cleopatra VII in Alexandria.

They originally date back to the time of Thutmosis III, were reinscribed by Ramesses II. It was Octavian who had the obelisks moved to Alexandria and had them erected before the Caesareum. In the 19th century Mohamed Ali - a self declared Turkish Viceroy of Egypt and Sudan - decided to modernize Alexandria and got rid of both obelisks. One was erected on the bank of the Thames in 1879, the other erected in Central Park in 1880.

Considering the history of the obelisk (and its link to so many famous names) I think more should be done to preserve such a monument.


All valid arguments, I'll pick a few:

Anneke: No, you don't take a gift back, not even if it would be treated badly, but that aspect of the obelisk may have been "forgotten" in Egypt.

Ranoferhotep and the restoration budget may have shrunk considerably under the influence of the recession, that would not make it "simple", so what should they do, ask MCDon... and end up with a big "Restored by MacDon..." sign? I think the alternatives a limited, perhaps "we" the members of ED can find a solution and pass it on to New York City's City Council? Oh BTW:That remark about placing the obelisks inside was "tongue-in-cheek" (I really miss the :p: smiley here!)

So, the question is: Are there any good and viable plans for the obelisk in New York City's Central Park? Next question is: Who will bring the suggestion to them?

Richard
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:

Anneke: No, you don't take a gift back, not even if it would be treated badly, but that aspect of the obelisk may have been "forgotten" in Egypt.


I wondered about that part as well.
It could be that he is conveniently forgetting that part.
Or maybe he does not acknowledge the right of a Turkish Viceroy in giving away Egyptian antiquities. That's a rather interesting part of the story.

Mohamed Ali was a Turk and really a Viceroy for the Ottoman empire.

I think if anyone came over to my house and started to give my belongings away I would want them back, even though the recipients might consider them a gift.

But then again this is 130 years ago. It was at the time apparently legal and just claiming the artifact back cannot have a whole lot of legal grounds.

The practical side of the problem is substantial. Creating a building around it is not really reasonable. Maybe a plexiglass or other "see through" covering after restoration? It will change the appearance, but that may need to happen to preserve the obelisk.

I'm not sure there is any other covering/material that would adhere to granite, and protect it against the elements? Fancy version of polyurathane or lacquer? Is there even such a material?
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