UNESCO launches the re-erection project of the Aksum Obelisk
The obelisk is around 1,700 years old and has become a symbol of the Ethiopian people's identity. The significance of its return after 68 years, and the technical feat of transporting the obelisk and re-erecting it on site are on a par with other historic UNESCO projects, such as Abu Simbel, where entire Egyptian temples were removed from their original location to protect them from rising water due to the construction of the Aswan dam.
The total budget for the project is USD$2,833,985, funded by the Italian Government who also financed the transportation of the obelisk and the related studies undertaken by UNESCO in collaboration with the Ethiopian authorities and experts. Lattanzi has begun mobilizing its staff and equipment, and shall start the works as of mid July. The works will take place in two segments throughout a period of 18 months. During the first segment, a foundation for the obelisk will be built as well as a temporary steel tower for lifting the separate parts of the obelisk. In the second phase, the steel structure will be put in place and the obelisk lifted and placed in position. Finally, the surface of the obelisk will be cleaned and restored, and the steel support structure dismantled and removed.
The ruins of the ancient city of Aksum in the North East of Ethiopia mark the location of the Kingdom of Aksum, the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The massive ruins of Aksum date from between the 1st and the 13th century A.D. The monolithic stelae were erected during the third and fourth centuries A.D. as funerary markers for deceased members of its elite. Aksum was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1980.
The Ethiopian authorities plan to mark the end of their Ethiopian calendar year 2000 celebrations, held on 11 September 2008, by inaugurating the standing obelisk.
For more detailed information on the technical aspects and planning of the works, please see the attached file below.
World Heritage Properties
- Exhibition of Aksum Obelisk Re-installation opens in Rome Thursday, November 26, 2009
- Director-General inaugurates exhibition celebrating re-installation of the Aksum Obelisk Thursday, April 23, 2009
- UNESCO presents exhibition on reconstruction of Aksum obelisk Monday, April 20, 2009
- Inauguration Ceremony for the Aksum Obelisk Friday, September 5, 2008
- Mission accomplished: Aksum Obelisk successfully reinstalled Friday, August 1, 2008
- Second block of Aksum Obelisk successfully re-installed Monday, July 28, 2008
- First phase of Aksum Obelisk re-installation successfully completed Monday, June 23, 2008
- Re-installation of Aksum Obelisk to begin soon Friday, May 23, 2008
- UNESCO Presents Design for Reinstallation of Aksum Obelisk Thursday, February 16, 2006
- Major archaeological discoveries in Aksum Monday, April 25, 2005
- Aksum obelisk arrives in Ethiopia Wednesday, April 20, 2005
- Aksum obelisk returns to Ethiopia: UNESCO to handle its reintegration into the World Heritage site Thursday, March 17, 2005