Egypt Watch

UNESCO warns against transferring Luxor sphinxes to Tahrir

Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab
Regional Centre for World Heritage of UNESCO, has sent a letter to Dr.
Khaled al-Anani, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, expressing her
objection to the transfer of four rams statues from Karnak Temple in
Luxor to decorate Tahrir Square in Cairo
In her speech Al Khalifa called on the Egyptian government to revise the
decision and consult with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre on the
decision and discuss possible damages which could occur during the
transportation process, in accordance with the guidelines of the World
Heritage Convention.
The Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly announced that four
sphinx statues from Karnak Temple in Luxor would be transferred to
Tahrir Square based on orders from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-
Sisi, regarding the development of historical Cairo.
The decision was met with a social, legal, and even parliamentary
rejection, which is unusual from the Egyptian parliament. MP Mohamed
Abdel Ghani made an urgent statement to the Prime Minister and the
Ministers of Antiquities, Tourism and Housing, asking about the studies
that were relied upon to transfer the statues to Tahrir Square, and on
the importance and usefulness of the decision.
The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights has filed a lawsuit
with the Administrative Judicial Court to demand that the
transportation of these invaluable artifacts is stopped.