The Luxor obilisk, which towers over the Place de la Concorde in Paris, was installed on 25 October 1836. The monument was a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt, Mehmet Ali. It was one of a pair of obilisks that had adorned the entrance to the temple of Luxor and which had been given to France in 1830. The task of transporting the ancient structure fell to the engineer Apollinaire Lebas. It began its epic voyage in December 1831 and landed in Toulon in May 1833, before finally arriving in Paris the following year.
King Louis-Phillipe 1 chose the Place de La Concorde as the obilisk’s final resting place to help change the bloody image of the site. It was there that Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and other victims of the French Revolution met their end under the blade of the guillotine in 1793.
The pink granite monument, measuring 23 metres in height and weighing 230 tonnes, was erected using what was then state-of-the-art elevating machinery. The royal family joined a large crowd that had gathered to watch the historic event.
Images of the installation were engraved on the base of the obilisk, replacing the original carvings of baboons with their sex organs covered up. They were considered too indecent for the sensibilities of the time, but are now on display in the Louvre.
Ownership of the obilisk, which never made it to France, was given back to Egypt by President Francois Mitterand during the 1980s.
Also on 25 October: the French cavalry was annihilated by England’s King Henry V at the battle of Agincourt (1415); Britain invaded the Transvaal in (1900); France’s Centre National de la Cinematograhpie was created (1946); Uganda joined the United Nations (1962).
Born on October 25: the Austrian composer Johann Strauss (1825); the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso (1881), and the American singer Kate Perry (1984).
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Heavy fighting in Donetsk; possible mass grave discovered
- 2Catalan independence put on hold: constitutional court suspends vote
- 3Migrant deaths in Mediterranean reach a record 3,072 in 2014
- 4Spain: Constitutional court votes to suspend Catalonia independence referendum
- 5Denmark bridge collapse blocks motorway
- 1Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel
- 2Update: Emma Watson nude photos threat may be elaborate PR stunt
- 3Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’
- 4Teenage ‘terror suspect’ shot dead by police in Australia after attacking officers
- 5Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio speech among five must-see clips on UN climate summit
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 3Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 4Japan sounds bluefin warning, calls for 50% catch cut | euronews, world news
- 5Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 6Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 7New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 83D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 9Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 10Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 11Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up | euronews, world news
- 12Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 13Official ‘executed by flame-thrower’ over links to Kim Jong-un’s purged uncle | euronews, world news
- 14Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 15EU leaders name Donald Tusk European Council president | euronews, world news
- 16British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 17Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news
- 18The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
- 19Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’ | euronews, world news
- 20#Indyref Live: Scotland votes on independence from UK | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 21:41 CET Judge urged to accept guilty plea in U.S. embassy bombing case
- 21:20 CET EU opts to extend Central African Republic mission
- 20:14 CET EU protests over Russian detention of Lithuanian fishing boat
- 20:07 CET Jewish settlers occupy Palestinian homes in Old City’s shadow
- 19:40 CET Obama, Modi discuss trade, climate, Islamic State at White House
- 19:23 CET U.N. Ebola mission head wants significant progress in 60 days
- 18:49 CET Catalonia suspends formal campaign on Spain independence vote
- 17:50 CET Hardline Buddhists in Myanmar, Sri Lanka strike anti-Islamist pact