This is the largest restoration work in 50 years - Facebook/Egypt Min. of Tourism & Antiquities official page
CAIRO - 17 May 2020: The Supreme Council of Antiquities launched the largest restoration project in 50 years. It is the restoration of the ram statues behind the first edifice of the Temple of Amun-Ra at Luxor's Karnak temples.
Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri explained that this restoration project started after transferring four of the Ram statues to Tahrir Square.
It was found while transferring the four statues that these rams are in a poor state of conservation, and have lost some of its parts.
Immediately, the decision of the Egyptian Antiquities Permanent Committee at the Supreme Council of Antiquities was issued to launch a comprehensive restoration project for the statues.
Waziri further explained that the immediate reason for the poor state of reservation of the rams is that they were exposed to faulty restoration with inappropriate materials in the early 1970s at the time of creating the sound and light project for Karnak Temples.
These rams were restored and raised on a layer of modern reed covered with cement mortar, red bricks and small pieces of stones, which negatively affected the rams and allowed groundwater to leak into its lower parts, eventually accessing the original stone bases. This led to the conversion of some of its parts into sand powder and some parts of the rams got separated as a result.
Head of the Karnak Temples Restoration Department Saadi Zaki said that 29 ram statues are located on a high surface water area, and that previous restoration works led to the absorption of this salt-laden water, which helped to break the bonds of the grains in the sandstone and completely separate the bottom part, in addition to the growth of weeds and fungi inside the stone.
He noted that the restoration work included documentation by photography and drawing, to show the damage found on the rams. This will then be followed by transferring the rams one by one on flat pillows to start the intense restoration procedures.
These procedures begin with the mechanical restoration and cleaning works to remove dust, followed by strengthening operations using the internationally recognized materials designated for strengthening weak parts of statues. As for larger parts that are in need of restoration, stainless steel is used to assemble them.
The restoration of three rams has now been completed and work is still underway, according to Zaki.