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Bringing Back The Antiquities
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Toth
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
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?


I agree, and think that he would like to forget that it was a gift (selective memory?) Then to the practical side of the issue, I don't see restoring the obelisk to its previous glory as a problem... yet ( if we wait long enough, the won't be anything left to restore, only bare eroded granite; plexiglas is out of the question IMO, the Wind (Seth) would love to take it apart, there are other options, but they are not cheap, which will act as a skin on the monument, while at the same time making sure th inscriptions in the monument can be seen and admired acrylate covering comes to mind, but I rather leave that part of the issue to the experts! An acrylate, or similar, covering would have the added advantage that the appearance of the monument wouldn't change!

But, we do agree that something should be done? Perhaps creating a "Save the Central Park Obelisk" foundation? Or send a request to the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? How did they do that with the "Statue of Liberty" wasn't that restored in some way... more or less recently?

Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Toth, personally I wouldn’t have a problem with attracting private investors to restore monuments, and if so it would only be normal that they would have a mark of some kind for that effort, as long that marking isn’t put directly on that monument itself. An A.E. Obelisk with the logo of let’s say MacDon… C-C…PH…or B.W. engraved wouldn’t be a sight.

@ Anneke, We all know Z.H., retrieving the obelisk is unquestionable. He really would like that all A.E. artifacts worldwide come back to Egypt. In this he forgets one thing: The current “Arab Republic of Egypt” as is the country officially named isn’t capable of preserving and keeping those artifacts in good condition, and then we aren’t even speaking of restoration. Here I’m not sure, but I guess many of the members on the forum are aware that thousands and thousands of artifacts are kept, of which many even haven’t been properly cataloged, in the basement of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. I would suggest that Z.H. starts there. I’ve understood from news reports this is the idea behind the GEM. But we will see what comes from it.

Now restoring the N.Y. obelisk is perfectly possible. There is no need of putting some plexiglass or other "see through" covering after restoration. Current technologies can make composite materials almost the same as the original. There are synthetic resins on the market that can be applied to and protect any kind of stone and are resistant to acid-rain and other pollution. Here lies the problem I think, for a durable restoration and protection, the costs could be tremendous. (See picture below) I guess this is one of the tasks of the Conservation Committee, making a study of what is the best way and also the least expensive. Such a study takes time, you have need of experts for advise, find the fabricants that can deliver the needed means to perform such materials, and people who have expertise in such restoration work. The task isn’t as simply as we all might think. And in times of recession…there are other problems to be handled.



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Toth
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Ranoferhotep: I wouldn't dismiss the (poly)acrylate option too quickly if I were you; your solution is as good/bad as the Egyptian solution with Tutankhamun's tomb: creating a replica and show that to the tourists / visiting citizens of NY : Imagine to travel 10.000 km or more just to see a replica (depending on your point of departure)

As for Hawass idea, there is still a rumor floating around that the originals of Tutankhamun's grave goods are rotting away back in the Egypt Museum, if that would be true, he should be thoroughly ashamed and bury himself somewhere outside Amarna (way out!), or fix that first, before breaking his head over this problem!

Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when the Statue of Liberty was restored, Lee Iacocca, of Chrysler fame was a major player in raising funds. He got donations from all sized companies but a large percent was from private individuals. this would be a possible way to raise the needed funds. one of the cable stations aired a show with the current Lord Carnarvon touring Egypt and they showed some of the KV62 items in storage and clearly not conserved. I believe some still had Carters ID tags on them. While I agree with ZH on the preservation, again its his holier then thou attitude that I disike
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:
@Ranoferhotep: I wouldn't dismiss the (poly)acrylate option too quickly if I were you; your solution is as good/bad as the Egyptian solution with Tutankhamun's tomb: creating a replica and show that to the tourists / visiting citizens of NY : Imagine to travel 10.000 km or more just to see a replica (depending on your point of departure)

As for Hawass idea, there is still a rumor floating around that the originals of Tutankhamun's grave goods are rotting away back in the Egypt Museum, if that would be true, he should be thoroughly ashamed and bury himself somewhere outside Amarna (way out!), or fix that first, before breaking his head over this problem!

Richard


When I visited the museum back in ’87, I hadn’t much time due to circumstances, I didn’t notice much protection and conservation methods used in the display’s off the artifacts of Tutankhamen. What I do remember was by walking through one off the halls, museum staff opening a wood with glass display, containing a wooden coffin off some noble and cleaning it with a damp cloth on the inside, and directly closing it afterwards. That struck me, and I strongly believe this isn’t the way to preserve artifacts. Now I’m not an expert, but I’ve seen several systems of humid and temperature control used in various museums, I can’t remember seeing one in the museum of Cairo back then. I don’t know whether the conditions are improved by now. I must say, I doubt it.
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Toth
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

herper wrote:
when the Statue of Liberty was restored, Lee Iacocca, of Chrysler fame was a major player in raising funds. He got donations from all sized companies but a large percent was from private individuals. this would be a possible way to raise the needed funds. one of the cable stations aired a show with the current Lord Carnarvon touring Egypt and they showed some of the KV62 items in storage and clearly not conserved. I believe some still had Carters ID tags on them. While I agree with ZH on the preservation, again its his holier then thou attitude that I disike


Interesting, so there might be more to that rumor? About raising funds: Someone willing to write Lee Iacocca (is that a lower case i, or a lowercase L? I can't see that in this font)? ZH is the pope? He acts like one, I agree Laughing !!

Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Raneferhotep: Thanks for that explanation abut the synthetic resins.
I did not know how far that technology/technique had developed by now. Nor did I know what is was called Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
@Raneferhotep: Thanks for that explanation abut the synthetic resins.
I did not know how far that technology/technique had developed by now. Nor did I know what is was called Smile


You’re welcome Anneke.

It is a technology that evolutes off course and better and better products are made, but as with all technologies, a lot off research goes ahead, which makes these technologies so costly.


By the way I didn’t know its twin stood in London, the famous “needle of Cleopatra”. I’ve seen it about three years ago when I visited London in December. It was already getting dark but that obelisk looked in better shape than the one in N.Y. I’ve looked up some pics on the net of it, and I must say, it doesn’t look also in such a good shape anymore. Maybe we can tip Z.H. Idea
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Ranoferhotep; Aren't the rooms which contain the mummies climate controlled I remember reading something like that on one of the many sites I visited over time.

@Anneke, I wonder if those techniques with artificial resins are use for protect, or duplicating, artifacts; why ? Given the number of casts sold by museums, and the contents of the Tut-exhibitions being copies! It looks to me that this may be conceived as being more profitable to the museums.

Richard.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:
@Ranoferhotep; Aren't the rooms which contain the mummies climate controlled I remember reading something like that on one of the many sites I visited over time.

@Anneke, I wonder if those techniques with artificial resins are use for protect, or duplicating, artifacts; why ? Given the number of casts sold by museums, and the contents of the Tut-exhibitions being copies! It looks to me that this may be conceived as being more profitable to the museums.

Richard.


Those rooms date, as far as I know from after my visit, and I believe these are climate controlled now. At least I really hope so, otherwise we would have a repeat of what happened to the mummy of Ramses II that had to be flown to France for treatment. I will ask someone who I know from a Dutch forum about A.E. and who has visited the “royal mummy” room very recently. Maybe she can also tell us something about the general condition of the other displays.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:

By the way I didn’t know its twin stood in London, the famous “needle of Cleopatra”. I’ve seen it about three years ago when I visited London in December. It was already getting dark but that obelisk looked in better shape than the one in N.Y. I’ve looked up some pics on the net of it, and I must say, it doesn’t look also in such a good shape anymore. Maybe we can tip Z.H. Idea


I just happened to come across that piece of info as I was reading Tyldesley's book about Cleopatra. I did not know those details until last evening Smile


LOL I'm sure ZH will go after London next and try to get that obelisk back too. Now if he claimed he was restoring the Caesareon in Alexandria and needed them to get the temple back to its original state ....
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth, his name starts with a capital I. name rhymes with try- a -coke -a
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

herper wrote:
Toth, his name starts with a capital I. name rhymes with try- a -coke -a


Thanks again, Herper!!

Richard, aka
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting chat you guys are having about this. As someone who loves a day hanging out at the Met, and taking time to relax in the environs of this specific edifice (during better weather), I think I have a valid opinion...

History and her monuments are the legacy for the generations, and it must be incumbent on each successive generation to act as caretakers of these monuments for those that follow:- money is not a consideration, in fact money is the easy part- building the will is what matters!

This is an interesting read: http://books.google.com/books?id=btJBAAAAIAAJ&ots=26Q2SWpTfQ&dq=%22egypt%20and%20its%20betrayal%22&pg=PA154#v=onepage&q&f=false

I am not sure that one singular large benefactor would be the best way to fund such a conservation, from the many would have much more benefit IMO. My suspicion is, that this particular monument will have no problem with funding once the will has been mobilized, and I additionally suspect that an inception process to this end may have already commenced...

Just my thoughts
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a native New Yorker, and an Egyptology buff, I have to agree with Hawass about the obelisk.

Generations of New York weather--not to mention air pollution and acid rain have pretty much worn the inscriptions down. On one side--I think it's the north--you can barely see any heiroglyphs with the exception of Ramses II's extra deep cut cartouche. I don't think anyone could be happy about this with the possible exception of Ramses himself who'd probably be thrilled that his name survived a hundred or so years of New York winters.

What's interesting is that most New Yorkers don't even know that the obelisk is there--or what it is. I've taken lifelong residents of the city to see it and they were surprised to learn that 1. It's there. 2. It is over 3,000 years old and 3. it is made up of one big piece of granite that was quarried by hand.

Seriously, the last time the Central Park obelisk got major press was when the body of a murdered woman was found nearby. Most people walk, jog, skate or cycle right past it. Zahi Hawass could show up one day with a crane and a flatbed and put the thing back on a ship to Egypt and most New Yorkers couldn't care less--assuming he'd gotten the proper permits--of course.

This of course doesn't bode well for raising funds for restoring it--although you could make the argument that if it didn't look like a 65 foot high chunk of soot blackened concrete, New Yorkers might start to care. An outreach and educational campaign might bring in enough money to do what needs to be done to it.

As for not asking for gifts back, I don't know, if I gave someone an antique bowl that had been in my family for generations and I went to their house and found that they were using it as an ashtray, I'd be pretty annoyed.

Finally, Is the London obelisk, this one's twin, in better shape than the New York obelisk?
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