A Newly Discovered Giant Statue Of Pharaoh Ramses II Could Boost Egyptian Tourism
Egyptian tourism declined significantly after the deposition of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and still hasn't recovered, but the country now hopes the discovery of a new colossus will bring visitors back. Find out more here!
A team of archaeologists from Egypt and Germany has just announced an incredible new discovery: that of a colossal statue estimated to stand over 26 feet tall, believed to depict famous Pharaoh Ramses II, who expanded the Egyptian empire so far that other Pharaohs referred to him as "the great ancestor."
Chest and beard of statue
The statue, which was found in groundwater and is still being excavated, is in pieces, according to Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani.
We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head and now we removed the head and we found the crown and the right ear and a fragment of the right eye.
Archaeologists chose the dig site based on the location of the ancient city of Heliopolis, which Ramses II founded and where the sun god was supposed to live and have created the world from. According to German team head, Dietrich Raue:
The sun god created the world in Heliopolis, in Matariya... According to the pharaonic belief, the world was created in Matariya. That means everything had to be built here. Statues, temples, obelisks, everything.
Now, Egypt is hoping that this discovery, hailed as "one of the most important ever" for the country, will increase tourism again. After autocrat Hosni Mubarak was deposed, tourism decreased from 14.7 million people in 2010 to 9.8 million people in 2011. Tourism was hurt further after a bombing took down a Russian plane carrying over 200 passengers in October 2015 decreased tourism by half in the first quarter of the year.
Once the statue is unearthed, it will hopefully be reconstructed and placed at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will open in 2018.
But now, what we'd like to know is...