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Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae

Believe it or not, it is possible to move a mountain… literally!

Abu Simbel: The campaign that revolutionized the international approach to safeguarding heritage.

Saving the temples of Egypt and dismantling, stone by stone, the Abu Simbel temple in the early 1960s was a first act to recognize this idea. UNESCO launched an international safeguarding campaign to save monuments in Nubia from being flooded by the waters of Lake Nasser. The construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt drew unprecedented international attention to the protection of cultural heritage. At that time, many people thought they had to choose between culture and development, between flourishing crops and the traces of a glorious history. UNESCO has shown that we can have both.

The World Saves Abu Simbel

UNESCO Archives Film Collection: "The World Saves Abu Simbel", 29', 1972.

Digitized by the UNESCO Archives. A production of UNESCO and the Abu Simbel Joint Venture. When the work began on the High Aswan Dam in Upper Egypt, the two temples of Abu Simbel, carved in the living rock which rises from the banks of the Nile, were threatened with complete destruction. In following the course of the International Campaign launched by UNESCO in 1960, the film reveals the archeological significance of the temples and shows how they were dissected and removed stone by stone to higher ground where, reconstructed, they now stand in all their grandeur orientated as before towards river and sun.

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digital.archives.unesco.org UNESCO does not own the rights to this film and the company that held the rights no longer exists. At this time Unesco is unable to respond to license requests for this film.

UNESCO/NHK Videos on Heritage
This outstanding archaeological area contains such magnificent monuments as the Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and the Sanctuary of Isis at Philae, which were saved from the rising waters of the Nile thanks to the International Campaign launched by UNESCO, in 1960 to 1980. Source: UNESCO TV / © NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai URL: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/88/
© NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai