Following the preparations for the Grand Egyptian Museum’s (GEM) soft opening, planned to take place next year, the giant head of the statue of King Senusert I was transferred on Friday from the Ministry of Antiquities’ storehouse at Salaheddin Citadel to the museum, in order to be restored and prepared to be among the displays of the GEM.
The statue is made of red granite with carvings. Tarek Tawfik, general supervisor of the GEM, asserted that it has artistic features of the Middle Kingdom.
The transferred part of the statue features the facial features of King Senusert I wearing the head-dress, which lost some of its parts.
The head was discovered with the beard separated from the head.
“The beard was discovered separated from the head in 2008, about 10 metres away from the location where the head was discovered,” said Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector.
Meanwhile, the head of the statue was discovered in 2005 at the hands of an Egyptian-German mission working in Mattarya. It measures 122 cm x108 cm, with a height of 75 cm and weight of about 2 tonnes.
Eissa Zidan, general director of the First Aid Restoration Department at the GEM, said, “the restoration team and archaeologists have used the latest technology in the packing and transportation of the head and beard, as they used wooden beams to settle the objects on a hydraulic crane for lifting.”
He added, according the ministry’s press release, that the head and beard are now at the GEM conservation centre for restoration, study, examination, analysis, and documentation, and a three-dimensional imaging technique will be used to illustrate the suggested methods to affix the head to the beard.