Should they have repaired Abu Simbel when they had the chance?
Visitors to Ramesses II's great temples at Abu Simbel, some 700 miles (1,100 km) south of Cairo, are quick to notice the devastated second colossus of the king.
The statue was shattered at the waist by a massive earthquake just a few years after the temple was completed; the head tumbling to the ground.
It lay there for 3,200 years.
The opportunity to repair it came in 1964 when the rising waters of Lake Nasser, created by the new High Dam at Aswan, began to menace Ramesses’ temples.
In a massive engineering project, the monuments were sliced up and reassembled on higher ground, landscaped to look like the original. This was the ideal time to finally put the toppled head back into place.
However, the decision was made to leave the head as it was. After all, the earthquake is part of the story of Abu Simbel.
What do you think? Was that the right decision?
Read more about Abu Simbel's shaky start in the current issue of Nile Magazine. Photo: Gaston Batistini
Enjoyed this article? Want to know more about ancient Egypt?
Subscribe to the print or digital editions of Nile Magazine from the "Subscribe" page.
Enjoy your Nile time!