At 3,500 years old, hundreds of ram-headed and lion-bodied sphinxes from Luxor were restored in the promenade that leads to the Karnak temple, in southern Egypt.
On Thursday night, as part of a grand ceremony, the president, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, inaugurated the walk of the renovated statues that leads to the temple of the god Amun, one of the main deities of the Egyptian pantheon.
The objective, assured the Ministry of Tourism, is to make the place an open-air museum in a country where the tourism sector employs two million people and generates more than 10% of GDP.
Karnak, a vast complex of Egypt located north of Thebes, its temples and its palaces, as well as the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage.
Tourism in Egypt
Every year, millions of tourists flock to the sites of ancient Egypt, especially this walk of the lamb-headed sphinxes. The walk is three kilometers long and runs from the Temple of Karnak to Thebes, the capital of Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdom. The city is also known as the city of the god Amun.
The hundreds of statues of mythological animals in Luxor, discovered in 1949, were at the center of controversy in mid-2020. That year they separated four of the ram-headed sphinxes from the others to install them in the square. Tahrir from Cairo. The square was the epicenter of the 2011 revolution that led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.
And in 1836, they displaced one of the obelisks of the temple of Luxor, currently it is in Place de la Concorde in Paris, France.
Egyptology is a very precious resource for the Egyptian government, which often uses antiquities to shine globally.
In April, televisions around the world broadcast images of a grand procession in Cairo.
Twenty-two black floats adorned with gold and luminous motifs evoked ancient funeral boats. The floats transported the mummies of kings and queens from ancient Egypt to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
The Egyptian government has long announced the future opening of the new Great Egyptian Museum, located at the foot of the pyramids of Giza.