CAIRO – An NGO filed a complaint on Monday against a controversial decision by the Egyptian government to move four ram statues from the southern city of Luxor to a central square in Cairo.
The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights announced it had submitted a lawsuit against the prime minister and minister of tourism to revoke the decision to move the four ram-headed sphinxes to Tahrir Square.
The NGO considered the decision to be “negative,” along with some archaeologists and people who have taken to social media in recent days.
The move could put the archaeological pieces in danger, the NGO said in its denouncement.
It also “contravenes the nature of the archaeological monument” located in Luxor.
The center called for the organizing of “a public contest for the design of copies of the pieces” equipped to cope with pollution to be installed in the Egyptian capital.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian government announced a plan to decorate the iconic Tahrir Square, which has been under remodeling, with ram statues, an obelisk and palm and olive trees.
The government, however, said in a statement that “the statues that will be moved from Karnak to Cairo are not the ones on the sides of the well-known road of the rams that unites the temples of Luxor and Karnak, or those that are in front of the Karnak temple.”
The statues are from behind the facade of the temple, while the obelisk comes from the archaeological zone of Tanis, located in the northern province of Al Sharqia, in the Nile Delta, according to the statement.
There is a plan to decorate Tahrir Square with the four statues, a source from the ministry told Efe.
However, the source did not confirm whether the move was underway.
On Monday in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 2011 uprising that put an end to the three-decade rule of Hosni Mubarak, the rams had not appeared, nor had the obelisk, Efe was able to observe.