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The two monoliths in red quartzite were raised at what European and Egyptian archaeologists said were their original sites in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile. The temple is already famous for its existing 3400-year-old Memnon colossi — twin statues of Amenhotep III whose reign archaeologists say marked the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilisation.
The existing two statues, both showing the pharaoh seated, are known across the globe.
“The statues had lain in pieces for centuries in the fields, damaged by destructive forces of nature like earthquake, and later by irrigation water, salt, encroachment and vandalism,” she said, as behind her excavators and local villagers washed pieces of artefacts and statues unearthed over the past months.
"The world until now knew two Memnon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III," Sourouzian told a press conference on Sunday unveiling the statues.
"Every ruin, every monument has its right to be treated decently. The idea is to stop the dismantling of monuments and keep them at their sites," she said, adding that steady "international funding" is essential for the preservation of world heritage sites.