San Francisco, USA, 25 August 2006: Google Earth has added a “Statue of Ramses II” section to its map index in tribute to the pink, 91-ton effigy’s epic move on August 25 from a congested central Cairo square to a museum near the pyramids. Damaged by pollution and hemmed in by urban construction, the statue was to be moved closer to its original site during a high-risk overnight operation through the streets of the capital on a motorised convoy.
The pharaoh convoy was to begin moving at a snail’s pace at midnight on Friday on a 35km journey to its new home at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is to open soon near the Giza Pyramids. The Google Earth program enabled users to swoop in on the route by combining mapping and satellite imagery, but would not display the move in real time, according to the Mountain View, California, search colossus.
Ramses II, from the 19th dynasty of pharaohs, reigned over Egypt for 68 years, from 1304 to 1237 BC, and is believed to have lived to the age of 90. Discovered in 1883 near Memphis, the ancient pharaoh capital, the 11m statue was moved to Cairo in 1954.