Egypt staged a gala parade to mark the restoration of the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor, a major attraction for its battered tourism sector.
The avenue, between the Temples of Luxor and Karnak, is about 2.7 kilometres long and 76 metres wide. It takes its name from the 1,300 statues lining it on both sides, which date back more than 3,500 years.
Most of the statues depict the sphinx, a mythical creature with a human head on a lion’s body. Other statues represent sacred rams, or lions with the head of a ram.
Zainab Hashish, a professor of archaeology at Beni-Suef University, told Al-Fanar Media that the celebration was “the culmination of a dream” that began in 1949. That year, Zakaria Ghoneim, an Egyptian archaeologist, discovered eight sphinxes and unearthed the Luxor end of the avenue, which had been buried by sand for centuries.