NY -- NYC -- Central Park -- Cleopatra's Needle (obelisk):
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NEEDLE_180824_08.JPG: Central Park's Ancient Egyptian Obelisk
For such a colossal object, this obelisk is well-travelled. Central Park is the third location for this 220-ton granite monument, which is the oldest public monument in New York City.
Pharaoh Thutmose III commissioned this obelisk approximately 3500 years ago (c. 1425 B.C.E.). It was one of a pair that was installed outside the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis, a city north of modern-day Cairo. Scholars believe that obelisks were symbols of eternity and immortality, with their tall, tapering forms connecting the earth to the sun. The surface of the obelisk is covered in hieroglyphics that praise Thutmose III and subsequent rulers.
Around 12 B.C.E. the Romans discovered the two obelisks that had toppled and were partially buried in the sand. They transported the obelisks to Alexandria, Egypt where they were installed at the entrance to the Caesareum, a temple dedicated to Julius Caesar. The Romans also added the bronze crabs, to provide support where the corners of the shaft had been damaged, and the stepped limestone base.
During the 1800s, interest in Egyptian antiquities renewed attention to obelisks and other artifacts, which were acquired by European nations and gifted by the Egyptian government to further diplomatic ties. In 1869, the Khedive of Egypt offered this obelisk to the United States, and prominent New Yorkers began to plan for its removal. The transportation and installation of the obelisk was a significant feat of logistics and engineering that took over a year and marked a defining moment for the city. In January 1881, the obelisk was erected in its current location across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was instrumental in its acquisition.
In 2011 the Central Park Conservancy embarked on a project to conserve the obelisk, the most comprehensive in its history. This included extensive documentation of the monument, a thorough cleaning of the granite, and repair and protection of areas of fragility on its surface. The project has restored the obelisk to its former prominence, revealing once again the color and texture of the granite and the hieroglyphics on its surface, and will help preserve this treasure of ancient culture for future generations.
NEEDLE_180824_16.JPG: The Restoration of
was made possible through the generosity of
DeWitt Wallace * Reader's Digest Fund
The Samuel and May Rudin Foundation
The Dillon Fund
NEEDLE_180824_29.JPG: Rutherford Burchard Hayes President
William Maxwell Evarts Secretary of
State of the United States
NEEDLE_180824_63.JPG: Translation of Hieroglyphics
The Horus, Strong-Bull-Son-of-Kheprl,
the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, User-maat-ra, Chosen-of-Ra, the Golden Horus, Mighty-in-years-and-great-of-victories, the Son or Ra,
Ramesses, Beloved-of-Amun, who came forth from the womb in order to receive the crowns of Ra, who created him to be sole lord the Lord of the Two Lands,
User-maat-ra Chosen-of-Ra, the Son of Ra.
Ramesses, Beloved-of-Amun, one serviceable to Ra and granted life like Ra.
The Horus, Strong-Bull-Appearing-in-Thebes, he of the Two La Goddesses,
Enduring-of-kingship-like-Ra-in-heaven, Bodily son of Atum, whom the Mistress of Heliopolis bore to him, Thutmose,
whom they created in the temple in the beauty of their members, knowing that he would exercise enduring kingship throughout eternity,
the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Men-kheper-ra, beloved of Atum, the great god, together with his Enneat,
granted all life, stability, and dominion like Ra forever.
The Horus, Strong-Bull-Beloved-of-Ra,
the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, User-maat-ra, Chosen-of-Ra,
Ra, created by the gods, who funded the Two Lands, the Son of Ra,
the noble youth, beloved like Aten when he shines on the horizon,
the Lord of the Two Lands, User-maat-ra,
Chosen-of-Ra, the Son of Ra,
Ramesses, Beloved-of-Amun, one serviceable to Ra and granted life like Ra.
NEEDLE_180824_84.JPG: Cleopatra's Needle
This obelisk was erected first at Heliopolis Egypt in 1600 B.C. It was removed to Alexandria in 12 B.C. by the Romans. Presented by the Khedive of Egypt to the City of New York, it was erected here on February 22, 1881 through the generosity of William H. Vanderbilt.
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Wikipedia Description: Cleopatra's Needle (New York City)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cleopatra's Needle in New York City is one of three similar named Egyptian obelisks and was erected in Central Park (at 40°46′46.67″N 73°57′55.44″W, west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) on 22 February 1881. It was secured in May 1877 by judge Elbert E. Farman, the United States Consul General at Cairo, as a gift from the Khedive for the United States remaining a friendly neutral as the European powers – France and Britain – maneuvered to secure political control of the Egyptian government.
Made of red granite, the obelisk stands about 21 metres (69 ft) high, weighs about 200 tons, and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. It was originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, in 1475 BC. The granite was brought from the quarries of Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile. The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramesses II to commemorate his military victories. The obelisks were moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesareum – a temple built by Cleopatra in honor of Mark Antony or Julius Caesar – by the Romans in 12 BC, during the reign of Augustus, but were toppled some time later. This had the fortuitous effect of burying their faces and so preserving most of the hieroglyphs from the effects of weathering.
Securing the obelisk
The original idea to secure an Egyptian obelisk for New York City came out of the March 1877 New York City newspaper accounts of the transporting of the London obelisk. If Paris had one and London was to get one, why should not New York get one? The newspapers mistakenly attributed to a Mr. John Dixon the 1869 proposal of the Khedive of Egypt, Mehmet Ali Pasha, to give the United States the remaining Alexandria obelisk as a gift for increased trade. Mr. Dixon was the 1877 contractor who arranged the transport of the London obelisk and denied the newspaper accounts. In March 1877 and based on the new ...More...
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2018 photos: Equipment this year: I continued to use my Fuji XS-1 cameras but, depending on the event, I also used a Nikon D7000.
Trips this year:
Civil War Trust conferences in Greenville, NC, Newport News, VA, and my farewell event with them in Chicago, IL (via sites in Louisville, KY, St. Louis, MO, and Toledo, OH),
three trips to New York City (including New York Comic-Con), and
my 13th consecutive trip to San Diego Comic-Con (including sites in Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles).
Number of photos taken this year: about 535,000.