CAIRO – 26 August 2020: Director General of Executive Affairs for Restoration at the Grand Egyptian Museum Issa Zeidan said that the two huge royal statues that were among the artifacts displayed in the "Sunken Cities: Magical World of Egypt" exhibition in the United States of America have been placed on the Great Staircase of the Grand Egyptian Museum.
These two colossal statues were found underwater in the Bay of Abu Qir, 6.5 km off the coast of Alexandria. Although there are no inscriptions on the two statues, it is possible that the king's staue belongs to King Ptolemy II Philadelphus (277-270 BC). The statue is made of granite, and is 5 meters in height.
Moreover, the queen statue is made of granite, and is 4.90 meters in height. It represents a standing queen, wearing a crown composed of the sun disk, two feathers and two horns and a transparent robe, while her left foot is forward. The queen may be Arsinoë II, dressed as the goddess Isis.
The two statues were discovered underwater in 2000, by a joint mission of the European Institute of Underwater Archeology with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities. The statues have been on a tour of exhibitions abroad in Europe and America since 2016.
Abu Qir Bay is located about 26 kilometers to the east of the eastern port in Alexandria Governorate, where the ruins of sunken cities were discovered, such as the city of Heracleion,
which is located northeast of Abu Qir Beach, that is in addition to the ruins of the city of Canopus, including a temple and parts of Egyptian gods from the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.
The two cities fell at the mercy of natural disasters and sank at the depths of the Mediterranean more than a thousand years ago.
The search began in 1996, and it took several years to map the entire site. This discovery yielded important information on ancient monuments; Heracleion and Thonis are in fact two names for one city, and sometimes called Thonis-Heracleion.