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18 January 2010

Gaze on Cleopatra's Needle

Cleopatra's Needle, on the Embankment, was presented to the nation in 1819 by Egyptian ruler Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801.

The Obelisk is actually one of three Ancient Egyptian obelisks which were sent to cities around the world in the Victorian Era, being re-erected in London, Paris, and New York City.

Despite the gift being made in 1819, the obelisk remained buried in sand in Egypt until 1877 when Sir William James Erasmus Wilson, a distinguished anatomist and dermatologist, sponsored its transportation to London at a cost of some £10,000. It was finally erected on the Victoria Embankment in 1878.

For more on Cleopatra's Needle, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra's_Needle

^Picture from flickr with thanks to Frankie Roberto^

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