Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany finished preparations on Wednesday to move an eight-metre statue, said to be of Ramses II, which was discovered submerged in water at a Cairo slum last week.
The figure’s blocks were wrapped in protective cloth and loaded onto the back of a truck along with other historical artefacts discovered in the same area.
“We’ve started loading the ancient blocks of the royal statue, which is believed to be of Ramses II but we will confirm when we view the statue and read the inscriptions on its back. We loaded the head part of the statue and the other statue of king Seti that we found in the same place and two blocks of limestone that were found in the same area. This will all be transported after midnight, we will make our way to the Egyptian museum in Tahrir,” said Mahmoud Afify, an official from Egypt’s antiquities ministry.
The find, hailed by Egypt’s antiquities ministry as one of the most important ever, was made near the ruins of Ramses II’s temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis, located in the eastern part of modern-day Cairo.
The pieces will be restored before being displayed at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum when it opens next year.