Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Egypt unveils two massive restored pharaoh statues

By CNN Staff
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III were unveiled by archaeologists Sunday -- after being moved to their original sites and restored -- in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, Egypt. Two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III were unveiled by archaeologists Sunday -- after being moved to their original sites and restored -- in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor, Egypt.
HIDE CAPTION
'New' statues unveiled
Conserving Luxor's history
Pharaoh and his wife
A proud moment for Egypt
Funerary temple of Amenhotep III
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two massive ancient statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III unveiled in Luxor, Egypt
  • Statues, discovered in February, join two other giants nearby, the Colossi of Memnon
  • Egypt's tourism sector continues to feel effects of political instability

(CNN) -- Archeologists in the historic city of Luxor, Egypt have unveiled two massive ancient statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III to the public.

The newly restored quartzite statues, one of which is more than 11 meters high and weighs 250 tonnes, can be found at the funerary temple of Amenhotep III.

They join a pair of already famous giants at the temple known as the Colossi of Memnon -- two 16-meter-high images of King Amenhotep III seated on his throne, also made of quartzite.

The unveiling was presided over by German archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian, who heads the temple of Amenhotep III conservation project.

The two new statues, discovered during excavations at the site, were originally in pieces before being restored and raised to their current standing position at the temple.

According to the World Monument Fund (WMF), the temple of Amenhotep III was erected between 1390 and 1353 B.C. for the pharaoh. It was 100 meters wide and 600 meters long, but only the lower sections of the structure remain.

Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his wife Tiye.
Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his wife Tiye.

The Colossi of Memnon, which mark the entrance of the temple of Amenhotep III, are the most visible remains of what was once the most richly ornamented of all Theban monuments, says the WMF.

"The temple structure was originally destroyed by earthquakes, and, since it was never fully excavated, the site was overgrown with vegetation and threatened by seasonal floods and agricultural development," says the organization.

"These problems were compounded by an increase in surface salts from rising groundwater, a by-product of the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s."

Luxor, 635 kilometers from Cairo, is divided by the Nile into two areas commonly referred to as the East and West Bank -- the latter home to some of Egypt's most prized ancient temples and monuments.

The unveiling comes at a time when Egypt's tourism sector is fighting to pull itself out of a slump due to political instability that's lingered since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

According to the Daily News Egypt, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said on Saturday that the tourism sector is completely collapsed, adding that great changes are needed to improve conditions.

Egypt dig unearths 3,600-year-old mummy

Pharaoh's tomb sheds light on shadowy Egyptian dynasty

Tomb of ancient Egypt's beer maker to the gods of the dead disocvered

Mystery surrounds Egyptian sphinx unearthed in Israel

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1001 GMT (1801 HKT)
Photographer gives Hong Kong skyscrapers a radical new look.
August 16, 2014 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
A cage-free shark photographer gets up close and personal with the ocean's most feared predators.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
Conde Nast Traveler reader survey praises antipodean cities but gives South Africa's biggest city a wide berth.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
After the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Canal, here are 10 other ways to fall in love with the country.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 0349 GMT (1149 HKT)
In Taiwan, tourists pay to ride along in local cabs, letting fate -- and locals fares -- decide where they'll go.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
It's largely devoid of human life, dark, cold and subject to dangerous levels of geological volatility -- the Arctic is surely the worst possible destination for an arts festival.
Zurich, Switzerland
It may be Switzerland's banking capital, but Zurich's real wealth lies in the village-like charm of its cobbled streets and Alpine scenery.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1854 GMT (0254 HKT)
We've all wondered what it's like to die. Now an outfit in Shanghai says it can provide the experience.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Our special report details who, what and how much it takes to bring you the best in IFE (we'll explain).
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 0632 GMT (1432 HKT)
What pizza is to New York and the cheesesteak is to Philly, the food truck has become to Los Angeles -- essential
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0903 GMT (1703 HKT)
If you've ever clicked on a list of forests to see before you die, chances are you've already seen a photo of this stunner.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 0018 GMT (0818 HKT)
The military coup in Thailand has led to a massive change in Phuket, weeding out decades of misuse and abuse at one of the world's most popular holiday destinations.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0956 GMT (1756 HKT)
With a mix of Indian, African, French and Chinese influences, Mauritius represents a cultural smorgasbord.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
There's nothing like high drama on a beach.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
Home to big game, sparkling beaches, and stunning sunsets, Malawi makes for an idyllic travel destination.
ADVERTISEMENT