Egyptian Government Threatens to Take Back New York Obelisk Unless It is Restored

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NEW YORK, NY.- The Egyptian government official charged with protecting his country’s ancient monuments is threatening to take back an iconic obelisk in Central Park unless New York City takes steps to restore it. The stone obelisk “has been severely weathered over the past century” with no effort made to conserve it, Zahi Hawass, secretary general for Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, wrote in a letter this week to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The obelisk, which commemorates King Thutmose III, has stood behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1881. At 71 feet tall, it is known as “Cleopatra’s Needle” and is one of a pair. The other is in London. The obelisk dates back roughly 3,500 years and was given to the United States in the 19th