Historic

The Tall Pointy Thing in Central Park

No, we’re not talking about the tall pointy things around Central Park. Sorry, Extell.

We’re talking about Cleopatra’s Needle, the 240-ton obelisk west of the MET. Don’t be confused, though, it has nothing to do with Cleopatra. In fact, it was made to commemorate the third jubilee of Thutmose III in 1450 BC (side note: what were you doing in 1450 BC?), meaning it’s around 1400 years older than Cleopatra.

Despite the lack of relation, the obelisk is one of three called “Cleopatra’s Needle.” Another, a pair with the one in New York, resides in London. The third is in Paris. (Unfortunately, Paris may have us beat—theirs is taller and shinier.)

Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde

Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde

NY’s Needle is made of red granite and stands at about 67 feet. It’s also inscribed, on each side, with hieroglyphs that read: “The crowned Horus / Bull of Victory / Arisen in Thebes…”

1280px-Cleopatra_needle_glyhic_translation

The Obelisk’s faces before arriving in NY

Unfortunately, we haven’t taken particularly good care of it. The faces of the monument have been heavily eroded by pollution and acid rain, making the inscription difficult to read. Dr. Zahi Hawass, whose own website describes him eponymously as “the man with the hat,” has written an open letter to the Central Park Conservancy and Mayor, demanding that proper care be administered, or that the monument be returned.

Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist, former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, Vice Minister of Culture, and convicted criminal (OK, it was overturned)

Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist, former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, Vice Minister of Culture, and convicted criminal (OK, it was overturned)

His desire to repatriate the landmark may be, in part, because it’s departure was heavily opposed. Though it was a gift from the Khedive of Egypt, protests and legal obstacles suspended its transport for two months in 1879. Ultimately, though, it made it to NY, in no small part due to William H. Vanderbilt, who made a donation of over $100,000.

Nonetheless, its journey from Alexandria to New York was difficult. The steamship Dessoug was used to transport it across the Atlantic. Despite a broken propeller, and a large hole cut out of its side to make space for he obelisk, obelisk and the 900 pound supporting bronze crabs arrived safely at the Quarantine Station in July 1880.

The Dessoug and the Needle

The Dessoug and the Needle

This is where it gets good. It was dragged by 64 horses through the UES to Central Park. To make a level path for it, railroad tracks and ramps had to be removed from the road and the ground flattened.

Wait, this is where it get good. The cornerstone of the obelisk was placed in a Masonic ceremony attended by more than 9,000 Masons parading on Fifth Avenue. Soon after, a time capsule was buried underneath.

The obelisk in its final position

The obelisk in its final position

The Masons likely wouldn’t be too happy with the state of disrepair it’s fallen into, though. We’re with Zahi—we need to take better care of it.

Click to comment

0 Comments

  1. HowardBlors

    April 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You mentioned it wonderfully.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    canadian pharmacy
    canadian cialis
    best online pharmacy
    canadian online pharmacies

  2. HowardBlors

    April 16, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  3. HowardBlors

    April 16, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  4. HowardBlors

    April 16, 2019 at 7:10 pm

  5. HowardBlors

    April 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Fantastic posts. Appreciate it!
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    price prescription drugs canada drugs online drugs for sale [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharcharmy[/url]
    pharmacy price compare
    pharmacy online mexico
    buy online prescription drugs
    drugs for sale
    canadian drugs without prescription
    prescription drugs prices

  6. HowardBlors

    April 16, 2019 at 10:50 pm

  7. HowardBlors

    April 17, 2019 at 12:09 am

  8. HowardBlors

    April 17, 2019 at 12:14 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually revealed this really well.
    http://talahicc.com/
    discount drugs online pharmacy top rated canadian pharmacies online pharmacy price comparison [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/]northwest pharmacy[/url]
    pharmacy without dr prescriptions
    canadian drugstore reviews
    canadian drugstore online
    canadian discount pharmacy
    prescription drugs canada
    online prescription drugs

  9. HowardBlors

    April 17, 2019 at 12:37 am

  10. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  11. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Whoa a lot of terrific data!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    online pharmacy canada pharmaceutical online ordering canadian pharcharmy online [url=http://talahicc.com/]northwest pharmacy[/url]
    drug prices comparison
    canada pharmacies
    best price prescription drugs
    board of pharmacy
    overseas pharmacies
    compare rx prices

  12. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  13. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  14. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 10:16 am

  15. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  16. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 11:07 am

  17. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  18. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 8:12 pm

  19. Quentinthuth

    April 17, 2019 at 8:20 pm

  20. Quentinthuth

    April 18, 2019 at 3:00 am

  21. Quentinthuth

    April 18, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  22. Quentinthuth

    April 18, 2019 at 3:23 am

  23. Quentinthuth

    April 18, 2019 at 3:28 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top