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Tue September 25 2018

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Giant statue of Ramses II moves to new museum

26 Jan A giant statue of King Ramses II that was made more than 3,000 years ago has been moved carefully into place at the entrance of the future Grand Egyptian Museum of Cairo.

click to enlarge (photo by Besix CEO Rik Vandenberghe)
click to enlarge (photo by Besix CEO Rik Vandenberghe)

Besix and Orascom are building the complex museum structure, which will house King Tut's tomb and tens of thousands of other archaeological finds.

Yesterday, the 82-tonne colossus of Ramses II made his entry into the great hall of the museum; its central location will make it the first thing any visitor will see upon arrival, pointed out Besix.

The transfer of the colossus was done using cranes and a special conveyor system. “With our partner Orascom, we are proud to participate in this colossal adventure,” said Besix. “Congratulations to the teams contributing to this major project.”

Ramses II ruled Egypt from 1279BC to 1213BC.  The statue was discovered in 1820, after which it was displayed for decades in downtown Cairo on Ramses Square before being transferred to the current museum in 2006. Today, it is the first artefact to be transferred to the future Grand Egyptian Museum.

As part of the project, the team has built a bespoke foundation on which the statue will rest in the future main hall.

Challenging features of the building’s architecture include a 33,000m² articulated outer structure, consisting of cascading panels “with not one identical square metre” said Besix. “Its dimensions, its complexity and its slopes represented a triple challenge for engineers. A way had to be found to produce these extraordinarily complex concrete structures with an extreme level of precision, so as to ensure the perfect alignment of the underside of the roof and its suspended ceilings.”


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