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The Kid Should See This

Installing massive statues with engineering and care at the Met

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How do you move and install a three ton statue circa 170 BC? How do you move and install a ten ton statue? In these behind-the-scenes time lapse video from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, we get to see the installation of the Statue of Athena Parthenos, loaned by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin in 2016. From The Met:

We are enthralled by gigantic statues. The ancient Greeks called them kolossoi, a word first used by Herodotus to describe the massive stone statues of Pharaonic Egypt…

The statue was discovered behind the north stoa of the Sanctuary of Athena Polias Nikephoros (Athena of the City and Bearer of Victory), Pergamon‘s patron deity, which stood at the center of the citadel. This is where Pergamon’s famous library was located, adorned with, in addition to the Athena, statues of illustrious literary figures of the past such as Homer and Herodotus.

Below at the Temple of Dendur, 9 year old Tobias asks, “How Did They Get All This Stuff into the Museum?” The vid goes behind-the-scenes of the installation of the colossal statue of Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat II (ca. 1919-1885 BC), on loan since 2011 from Berlin’s Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung .

More about the Amenemhat II statue’s history:

The statue was found in the early nineteenth century at Tanis in the Nile Delta, among many other prime Middle Kingdom sculptures that had probably been transported there in antiquity from sites closer to present-day Cairo. (Tanis was not founded until the beginning of the first millennium.) Most of the other Tanis statues are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. One—the famous Louvre sphinx—is in Paris; it depicts the same pharaoh: Amenemhat II.

Purchased in 1837, the statue remained in the Berlin museum during World War II, covered by sandbags and thus surviving the destruction of the “Neues Museum” building. Since 1996 it has been positioned in the courtyard of the Pergamon Museum, covered by a protective wooden frame. It will be lent to us for ten years, until the construction on the Berlin Museum Island has been finished and can provide a final place for the colossus.

For the Met, this is an opportunity to show monumental Egyptian art that is barely represented in American collections. Only a statue of Tutankhamun in the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago is taller.

Visit more museums around the world via video, and travel to Egypt via this awesome AirPano 360 interactive: The Great Pyramid of Giza was bright white & highly polished.

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