Statue of Ramesses II

The Statue of Ramesses II is a 3,200-year-old figure of Ramesses II, depicting him standing. It was discovered in 1820 by Giovanni Battista Caviglia at the Great Temple of Ptah near Memphis, Egypt. It is made from red granite.

Statue of Ramesses II in the entrance hall of the Grand Egyptian Museum during construction (November 2019)
A replica of the Ramesses II statue stands on Orouba street in Heliopolis, Cairo

The statue was found broken in six pieces and earlier attempts at restoration failed. In 1955, Egyptian Prime Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser moved it to the large Bab Al-Hadid Square in Cairo, outside Cairo's main railway station; the square was then renamed Ramses Square.[1] There the statue was restored to its full height of 11 meters and erected on a three-metre pedestal at the edge of a fountain. It was stabilized by iron bars inside the body.[2]

Over time Ramses Square turned out to be an unsuitable location, as the statue was exposed to corrosive pollution and constant vibration from traffic and subways. The Egyptian government decided to relocate it to a more appropriate location in 2006. At a temporary site on the Giza Plateau it underwent restoration before being moved into the staircase close the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza in 2018.[3][4][5][6][7]

The transport of the statue from Ramses Square to Giza was a technological challenge that had been in the planning since 2002. The statue weighs about 83 tons. A replica had been made and was transported several weeks before the scheduled actual move along the planned route to Giza to test the proposed relocation process. The move took place on August 25, 2006.[8] During its ten-hour transport the statue was wrapped and covered in rubber foam. Two flat-back trucks carried the weight of the statue and its support structures as it travelled in a vertical position.[8][9]

The move has been criticized for its costs and the concern about pollution in the Giza location.[9]


  1. ^ "97-08-07: Ramses comes home". Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved January 4, 2007.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ Hawass, Zahi. "The removal of Ramses II Statue". Retrieved March 17, 2007.
  3. ^ "Egypt's antiquities minister conducts inspection tour before Ramses II colossus moved to GEM display - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online".
  4. ^ "New move for Ramses II - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online".
  5. ^ "Ramses II statue to be transferred to Grand Egyptian Museum's main gallery - Egypt Today".
  6. ^ "Ramses II colossus to be erected at Grand Egyptian Museum display spot - Daily News Egypt". December 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "Ramses II gets new home".
  8. ^ a b "Ramses statue moved closer to pyramids". August 25, 2006. Retrieved August 25, 2006.[dead link]
  9. ^ a b Nevine El-Aref (May 25, 2006). "Farewell to Ramses". Al-Ahram. Archived from the original on August 25, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2006.

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Coordinates: 29°52′17″N 31°12′59″E / 29.8713°N 31.2164°E / 29.8713; 31.2164