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Frank M added a post

From: Frank M
Sent on: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:31 AM
[Unveiled 1881]
1500 BC

This colossal man-made object is certainly
a wonder to Central Park visitor who sees it.
Originally built as a pair for the
Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis around the
year 461 B.C., this four-sided Obelisk is
inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics honoring
Pharaoh Tutmosis III. During the era of
Augustus Caesar in 12 B.C., the Romans
moved them to the water entrance of
Caesareum at Alexandria. After the opening
of Suez Canal in 1869, Ismail Pasha, the
Khedive of Egypt, gave one Obelisk to the
United States in the hope of cultivating trade
relations between the two countries. Railroad
magnate William H. Vanderbilt contributed
over $100,000 to finance the project. The
complex task of moving the Obelisk from
Alexandria to New York was given to
Henry Gorringe, a lieutenant commander of the
U.S. Navy. This event was not completed for
another decade.
its 50-ton base, had to be moved first from its
vertical stance to a horizontal position, and
then lifted into a ship to be carried across the
Mediterranean Sea, and then over the
Atlantic Ocean. It arrived in New York in July
of 1880 and took 32 horses hitched in 16 pairs
to drag the pedestal alone through the streets
of the city. As the Obelisk traveled through
Manhattan on a special railroad track, a grueling
four months passed before it was brought
from the banks of the Hudson River to
Central Park where it still resides today on
Greywacke Knoll, just across the drive from
the then recently built Metropolitan Museum
of Art. At its base are four 900 pound,
19-century bronze replicas of crabs, which
were first placed there by the Romans, and
are also on display at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. The landscaped plaza complete
with benches that surround the Obelisk is a
perfect spot for viewing the magnitude of the
monument?s design and structure

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