Yesterday saw the grand unveiling celebrations of the newest addition to Luxor Temple: a recently reconstructed and erected statue of Ramesses II. (It's the second statue from the right.)
The striding figure, 10.8 metres tall, was one of the original six statues in front of Luxor's First Pylon—two seated and four standing. It was recently restored from dozens of granite fragments, unearthed between 1958 and 1960.
For years, anyone curious enough to poke around on the western side of Luxor Temple would have encountered a number of carefully-stacked piles of broken statuary. One of these piles was the remains of Ramesses II's shattered colossus. It was apparently devastated during a violent earthquake that struck the region in the 4th century A.D.
Ramesses' reconstructed statue bears a strong resemblance to the striding granite statues that stand tall between the columns in Luxor Temple's First Court, also built by Ramesses II. A number of these colossi were originally carved by Amenhotep III for his "Sun Court" at Luxor Temple, some 200 years earlier. They were later moved to embellish Ramesses' columned addition to the temple.
Ramesses also had his own colossi carved to accompany Amenhotep's statues in his new court. It remains to be seen whether the newly reconstructed sculpture was created for Ramesses or his esteemed ancestor.
Either way, one thing is sure: the newly-reconstructed colossus has suddenly made all of my existing photos of the temple's facade obsolete!
This photo of the event is courtesy of Luxor Times. You can see more photos and videos of the statue's reconstruction and unveiling via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/luxortimesmagazine
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