A 50-year old facelift: Tourism Ministry celebrates Ramses' restoration
CAIRO: It has been 50 years since the statue of Ramses in the temple of Abu Simbel has had his "facelift," including restoration work on the statue that draws crowds every year for a marvel of engineering.
The "Abu Simbel 50 Campaign" is part of a "golden jubilee" to restore Nubian monuments, and will include a number of events to promote local artisans and provide a boost to the local economy, the Ministry of Antiquities announced Monday on its Facebook page.
In late February and October, tourists gather to witness a solar alignment, perfectly holding the light of the setting sun on Ramses' face.
"It is definitely a rare astronomical miracle and engineering phenomenon as it happens twice a year; on Oct. 22, which marks the birthday of Ramses II, and on Feb. 22, which marks the pharaohs' coronation day," archaeologist Ahmed Saleh, General Director of Saving the Nubian Monuments Fund previously told The Cairo Post.