Not so long ago, there was no internet, no television and not even radio. The flow of information was minuscule, limited to rarely accessible books. Natural human curiosity didn’t have that much material to chew on, and a mystical object like Luxor obelisk on a public display in a European city must have been a miracle of the time, inspiring stories and ideas of the remote worlds among the common people. A wondrous sign language engraved into the stone only built up the imagination.
Originally, two obelisks were made for King Ramses II, three-thousand years ago. Much later, a XIX century ruler of Egypt, Ali Pasha, gave one away to the French King Louis-Phillipe. The monolithic granite structure was hard to make, hard to transport to original and the new location, and hard to erect. The effort of the last one is now a part of the monument in a form of the diagram explaining the whole process. The original pyramidion, never found, was replaced by the new, gold leafed one, by the French government.
It is curious how a part of the ancient culture, today only vaguely understood, became a part of another, contemporary culture and ages after and thousands miles afar, it remained the sky piercing symbol of the same: a might of an Empire.
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