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Egypt to ‘Rebuild’ the Lighthouse of Alexandria, One of the Seven Ancient World Wonders

Egypt to ‘Rebuild’ the Lighthouse of Alexandria, One of the Seven Ancient World Wonders

Three-dimensional reconstruction based on a comprehensive 2006 study
Three-dimensional reconstruction based on a comprehensive 2006 study

One of the World’s Seven Ancient World Wonders is about to be reincarnated as Egypt’s supreme antiquities council has approved the rebuilding of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

The Lighthouse, which was built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom in 280 BC, once stood at approximately 137 meters tall and was one of the world’s tallest man-made structures for hundreds of years.

Hundreds of years after being badly damaged by a number of earthquakes in 1323, Egypt is seeking to revive the lighthouse at it’s original location.

“Members of the Permanent Committee of the Egyptian Antiquities have approved an old project, submitted previously by the Alexandria governorate, aiming to revive the lighthouse,” Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Dr. Mostafa Amin told Youm7, a private newspaper in Egypt.

According to Dr. Amin, the comprehensive studies and a final plan have been submitted to Alexandria’s governor for final approval.

The Lighthouse, also known as the Pharos Lighthouse, was commissioned shortly after Alexander the Great died by the first Ptolemy  and completed during the reign of the second Ptolemy.

The significance of the Lighthouse is attributed to the word ‘Pharos’ becoming the etymological origin of the world ‘lighthouse’ in Greek, Persian, French, Italian, Spanish and other languages.

Despite being destroyed in 1323, remnant stones of the structure were used to build the Citadel of Qatibay in 1480, which stands in Alexandria until this day.

Along with being one of the world’s tallest structures for hundreds of years, the Lighthouse was also the third longest surviving Ancient World Wonder after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Great Pyramid of Giza.

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  • Ahmed M Ibrahim

    This project was long overdue. Egypt should immediately go ahead with the project to give Alexandria the historical importance it once possessed. Already a smart new library is functioning which could be further streamlined to portray its ancient glory while the Lighthouse should be the exact replica of the massive structure which once adorned its harbour.

  • AuggieEast

    This would be a good project if Egypt did not have millions of desperately poor people.

    • Eric Zoetmulder

      That’s the question that pops up each time Egypt looks at something of a size commensurate with its geography and population. I am not much of religiosus, but remember the quote from good old JC about fishes and learning to fish.

      The Suez Canal extension, now under construction, is budgeted at 6-7 billion US$ over 3-4 years. Paying that out directly to individual Egyptians would come to just $80 per capita per year and that does not buy a lot in Egypt.

      Instead, if all the projections hold, the new, wider and deeper Canal will yield much higher revenues (presently about 5 billion US /year) every year. Assuming that these increased earnings find their way to the people of Egypt, you can see that a once hand-out of $80 is really not such a big deal. Next as the development of the Canal Zone (Port Said East) comes off the ground, we can expect to see some truly value added jobs emerging in an area where at the present unemployment reigns.

      Read up on this at : http://www.mei.edu/content/at/egypts-suez-canal-corridor-project

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  • Dennis Teel

    why is it that no matter what the article is about,there’s always somebody quick to say something religious,even if it’s off topic..dumbasses..
    anyway,i’m glad to see it being rebuilt..i’d love to see it when it’s finished

  • AnitaHaircut

    They would benefit more from building a relationship with the Christians and Jews.
    There is salvation in no other name but in the name of Jesus Christ. There is no salvation in any lighthouse.

    • Ricardo Kutz

      Let’s re-write your statement, as if this were a religious structure, to see it’s irrelevancy, shall we?

      “They would benefit more from building an economic and cultural relationship with the secular community. There is secular economic benefit in no other name but in the name of Capitalism. There is no secular economic benefit in any house of worship.”

      Check and mate.

      • AnitaHaircut

        Not so fast….The light house can save no man, just as money also can not save a persons soul. Have you not heard, “what profit it a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul in hell.”
        No…Check nor mate! ; 0

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  • Yet_Another_Steve

    I’d love to see the Lighthouse rebuilt! And then maybe they could go reclaim all the white limestone facing that once covered the Pyramids and restore those, too.

  • Minimalist

    The tourists won’t come back until they do something about the security situation. I don’t care what they build.

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  • Ahmed M. ElNahas

    Building the Lighthouse exactly as it was milleniums ago is not a priority, in my humble opinion.. Obviously the official who’s making such statements may have in mind the Touristic return of the project which cannot justify the gigantic cost which induce more debts, more bank loans, more taxes…etc.. Not to mention the corrupt bidding procedures prevailing since ages in these parts.. Instead, a more aggressive policy to protect and restore existing monuments; and direct the finances (if ever existing) towards agriculture, agro-industries and water planning.. Towards REAL ECONOMY for once!

  • Mic Justin

    Does any EGYPTIAN know if there’s any reality to any of these projects like the new capital and stuff.

    • Minymina

      Yes, the Suez Canal expansion is set to be completed by August and land allocation to real estate developers has already begun (in regards to the new capital).

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  • Jonathan French

    So, what will happen to the Citadel of Qaitbey, itself an icon of Alexandria?

    • AGuyNamedJames

      It seems they don’t plan to build it on the site of the Citadel, or to build it out of the original stones. They’ll end up with both.

      • dr naim boutros

        I
        agree there are so many archaeological sites in Alexandria that could be
        promoted for tourism with much less cost and much less expertise to achieve
        success, eg the Catacombs of Kom El Shokafa, Kom El Dekka Roman Theatre, Sidi
        Gaber Tombs. What about the Royal Palaces of Montaza and Ras el Teen, should
        these be returned to Ministry of Tourism and reopened for visiting, after all
        they DONOT belong to government or presidents but to all of us, Egyptians!

        • Ricardo Kutz

          None of those would have the same PR impact as re-building a 7th wonder. That should be obvious. Those other sites are important, but a 7th wonder will bring in many millions, lesser known sites, much less.

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  • IvyLeaguer2012

    They should rebuild the Library of Alexandria instead, it would actually have a modern function.

    • Wael

      The library was already rebuilt at least 10 years ago 🙂

    • Rami Zayed

      Are you serious? It’s been rebuilt. Certainly an Ivy “Leaguer” attitude.

      • Ahmed M. ElNahas

        Hey Ramy, I think that Ivy intended to rebuild the Library as it was few thousand years ago, not that bastard building in steel and glass facing sea weather all year round, in a desert country (sand, dust and salinity).. The actual swedish projected building is an insult to Egyptian History, Traditions and Enviornment.

        • Eric Zoetmulder

          Hear, hear. Right you are

      • IvyLeaguer2012

        I’m sure they have a library, but its not a center of scholarship like it was back then. Nobody goes to Cairo for anything other than Egyptology or Arabic anymore.

        • Minymina

          See, the problem with that is the Internet.

        • Eric Zoetmulder

          Come on, it ain’t that bad ! first, scholarship has changed over the years and no longer requires the churchlike silence and awe you expect to find in the British Museum Reading Room. As for Cairo; most major Uni’s have good Arabic, Egyptology and Archaeology departments with libraries on par. Next, the libraries of, for example, the Dutch-Flemish Institute on Zamalik, the Cairo library on the same island and the Downtown Goethe Institut are all well known for their good collections, knowledgeable staff and spontaneous c-working with other visitors and locals. Next, do not underestimate the amount of curated quality, well annotated and commented material that is available on the www.

          Parallel, the vast majority of excavations and in situ studies are done by multi-national teams where it is often the foreigners who pay for the works (and for the extortionately high digging fees charged by the SCA, now the Min of Antiq.

      • Eric Zoetmulder

        Rebuilt? For those who like modern steel and glass architecture, the Biblioteka Alexandrina may be a rebuilt, but for purists like me , the new thing is just an ugly modernity. In the Nasr period, Egypt was filled with – designed in Russia – concrete monstrosities (on par with council housing in the Uk in ugliness) and I had hoped we had seen the last of this as more and more Uni’s started architecture faculties

  • AdamDixon

    Awesome! Just make sure ISIS don’t get to knock it down.

  • neil sutherland

    Can Dr. Amin also help restart the “Mataha” project, to save and restore the Labyrinth at Hawara (Fayoum) whose 3,000 rooms were each adorned with splendour, were said by Herodotus to surpass the “7 Wonders”? It is also believed to be the source of the Greek myth of the labyrinth of the Minotaur. Giza, Luxor, Abu Simbel, Alexandria and Hawara: more reasons to visit Egypt and spend more time here.
    .

    • Fiona Gail Tomkinson

      I visited Hawara last year and had the pyramid all to myself and the remains of the labyrinth are stones strewn around at ground level. A beautiful dream, but I doubt the government will invest in anything so off the beaten track in these difficult times.

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