Archaeologists have unveiled a restored colossal statue of Amenhotep III that was toppled in an earthquake more than 3,000 years ago at Egypt’s famed temple city of Luxor.
The statue that showed the pharaoh in a striding attitude was re-erected at the northern gate of the king’s funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile.
The temple is already famous for its existing 3,400-year-old Memnon colossi – twin statues of Amenhotep III whose reign archaeologists say marked the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilisation.
The 12.92-metre statue stands west of an existing effigy of the king, also depicting him walking, which was unveiled in March.
“These are up to now the highest standing effigies of an Egyptian king in striding attitude,” said German-Armenian archaeologist Hourig Sourouzian, who heads the project to conserve the temple.
The world-famous twin Memnon colossi are 21 metres tall but show the pharaoh seated.
The restored statue now stands again for the first time since its collapse 3,200 years ago, Mr Sourouzian said.
Consisting of 89 large pieces and numerous small fragments and reassembled since November, the monolith weighs 110 tonnes.
It had lain broken in pieces after the earthquake in 1200 BC, Mr Sourouzian said.