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Cleopatra's Needle

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Photo of NYC Central Park's Cleopatra's Needle Plaque
Cleopatra's Needle Plaque

Cleopatra's Needle Plaque

© Michael P. San Filippo
Although labeled Cleopatra's Needle, the famous obelisk in New York City was one of a pair of commemorative obelisks built for a jubilee of 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Thutmose III (r. 1479-1425 B.C.), quarried at Aswan, and installed at the Temple of the Sun at the city of On (known to the Greeks as Heliopolis). London and New York received one each of the obelisk pair. New York's Central Park location, near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, received its obelisk in 1881, thanks to funding by tycoon William H. Vanderbilt.

A plaque at the obelisk base states that it was created in Heliopolis in 1600 B.C. and then moved by the Romans to Alexandria in 12 B.C.

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