A huge granite statue of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II has reached its new home, the site where a new museum of Egyptian antiquities is being built in the shadow of the pyramids. At a cost of one million euros, the 11 metre high statue has been moved from the centre of Cairo in a complicated and delicate operation. It was placed upright on giant transporters and, surrounded by a protective steel cage, moved at a stately pace through the streets.
The whole operation was broadcast live on Egyptian television. The change of location is because of concerns about damage from pollution and vibrations from underground trains. The statue has been in central Cairo since the early 1950s. It was excavated near the ancient city of Memphis, south of Cairo, in 1882. Ramses II ruled 3,200 years ago and is considered Egypt’s greatest warrior king.