Lonely Planet Writer

3200-year-old statue of Ramses II moved to the new Grand Egyptian Museum

An 11-metre-high and 3200-year-old Egyptian statue underwent a massive move to bring it to its new home at the Grand Egyptian Museum, set to open in November.

The 3200-year-old colossal statue of King Ramses II is seen during its transfer to the main entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s twin city Giza on 25 January. Image by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images

The colossal statue of King Ramses II – which weighs more than 80 tonnes – will be the first artefact placed at the museum, where it will sit in the grand entrance hall. It marks progress on the creation of the museum, which will see the Grand Atrium, the Grand Staircase and the Tutankhamun Hall open later this year. The museum will contain roughly 100,000 relics within what’s being described as the world’s largest archaeological museum, located only two kilometres from the Giza pyramids.

The statue was rediscovered at the Mit Rahina archaeological site in the early 1800s by Italian adventurer Giovanni Caviglia. Since then, the massive statue has been moved four times around the country – but the latest undertaking will bring it to its new location. This latest move only took the statue just over 1000 feet from a temporary site in Giza, to what will be its new permanent home.

The statue of Ramses II. Image by www.egypt.travel

The statue depicts Ramses II, the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, who took the throne in 1279 BC. He ruled for 66 years before dying in 1213 BC. The celebrated pharaoh oversaw a lot of construction in Egypt, such as Ramesseum, his own massive memorial and funerary complex.

The Grand Egyptian Museum will be located on 120 acres of land about two kilometers from the Giza pyramids. There is some information to be found on the official website.