• Short Summary

    UNESCO WILL MEET IN PARIS ON MARCH 20 TO DECIDE THE FATE OF THE TWO ABU SIMBEL TEMPLES THREATENED BY THE WATERS OF THE ASWAN DAM.

  • Description

    UNESCO WILL MEET IN PARIS ON MARCH 20 TO DECIDE THE FATE OF THE TWO ABU SIMBEL TEMPLES THREATENED BY THE WATERS OF THE ASWAN DAM.IF THE APPEAL FOR GBP10,888,000 TO SAVE THEM IS NOT SUCCESSFUL, THE 3508-YEAR-OLD NUBIAN TEMPLES WILL SINK BENEATH THE RIVER NILE.

    DELICATE NEGOTIATIONS TO RAISE THE MONEY ARE STILL GOING ON.

    THE TEMPLES CANNOT BE DISMANTLED OR MOVED.THEY CAN BE SAVED ONLY BY A SCHEME USING HYDRAULIC JACKS TO RAISE THEM 200 FEET ABOVE THE LEVEL OF THE DAM WATERS.OTHER ARCHAELOGICAL TREASURES ELSEWHERE IN THE NILE VALLEY ARE ALSO THREATENED.MANY OF THEM ARE BEING DISMANTLED AND RE-SITED BY AN ARMY OF INTERNATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGISTS.

    WHEN COMPLETED IN 1970, THE DAM WILL CREATE THE BIGGEST MAN-MADE LAKE IN THE WORLD - 300 MILES LONG, AND, IN PLACES, 16 MILES WIDE.THE RETAINING WALL WILL BE 300 FEET HIGH.IT IS SAID THAT THE DAM WILL DOUBLE THE CULTIVATABLE LAND OF EGYPT AND THE ELECTRICITY GENERATED SPARK AN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN THE DELTA.

    HOWEVER, PESSIMISTS CLAIM THAT SO HUGE A PROJECT EXPOSES EGYPT TO UNPREDICTABLE DANGERS.WHAT IF THE PRESSURE OF WATER OPENS UP UNKNOWN FISSURES BENEATH THE SAND? THEY ASK.MIGHT NOT THEN THE WHOLE RIVER, WITHOUT WHICH EGYPT CANNOT LIVE FOR A SINGLE DAY, CHANGE ITS COURSE AND DRAIN AWAY INTO THE EMPTY DESERT? ALTERNATIVELY, MIGHT NOT THE DAM PROVIDE TOO MUCH WATER? ALREADY GREAT PARTS OF THE DELTA ARE SAID TO BE SODDEN, AND THE WATER LEVEL UNDER THE GROUND IS RISING AND TURNING THE TOPSOIL SOUR.

    THOUSANDS OF HOURS HAVE GONE INTO PLANNING THE DAM AND THESE DANGERS, OF COURSE, HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.ON JANUARY 9 THIS YEAR PRESIDENT NASSER, OF THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC, LEANED OVER THE RAILING OF A RIVERBOAT AND DROPPED A ROCK INTO THE NILE TO INAUGURATE THE MAIN BUILDING OF THE DAM.BOTH THE EAST AND WEST HAVE LENT MONEY, BUT MOST OF IT COMES FROM RUSSIA.

    WORK FIRST BEGAN IN JANUARY, 1960.A HUGE CHANNEL TO DIVERT THE NILE WILL BE COMPLETED NEXT YEAR BEFORE THE ANNUAL JUNE TORRENT, WHICH BEGINS HIGH IN THE HILLS OF ETHIOPIA.THEN CONSTRUCTION OF THE DAM PROPER CAN GO AHEAD UNHINDERED.

    AT THIS STAGE, THE NILE WILL HAVE BEEN RAISED BY 20 FEET.WATER IS ALREADY CREEPING INTO 40 NUBIAN VILLAGES AND THEY WILL EVENTUALLY DISAPPEAR ALTOGETHER.THE THOUSANDS OF TRIBESMEN AFFECTED ARE BEING RESETTLED IN VILLAGES.COST TO THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT: GBP11 MILLION.

    SOME 800 RUSSIAN TECHNICIANS ARE SUPERVISING 20,000 EGYPTIANS BUILDING THE DAM.MOST OF THE HEAVY MACHINERY COMES FROM RUSSIA.

    SATELLITE TOWN WITH UP-TO-DATE AMENITIES - FROM A MODERN MOSQUE TO CINEMAS - HAS BEEN BUILT FOR THE WORKERS.IT IS KNOWN AS ASWAN TOWN, A 15-HOUR RAIL JOURNEY FROM CAIRO.

    DETAILS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES: -
    THE ADU SIMBEL TEMPLES WERE CARVED OUT OF SANDSTONE MOUNTAINS ON THE ORDERS OF RAMESES II, THE GREAT EGYPTIAN RULER.ONE, DECORATED BY FOUR 66-FT HIGH STATUES OF THE RULER, IS DEDICATED TO THE GODS AMUN-RA OF THEBES, AND HARAKHTE OF HELIOPOLIS.THE OTHER, LESS ELABORATE, WAS BUILT BY RAMESES II FOR QUEEN NEFERTARI, HIS FAVOURITE THE SWISS EXPLORER, SCARCELY 150 YEARS AGO, THEIR SYMBOLS AND SCULPTURES HAVE ADDED VOLUMES TO THE HISTORY OF THEIR TIME.EXPERTS SAY THERE IS STILL MUCH TO BE DISCOVERED ON THE SITE.

    AT KALABSHA, WEST GERMAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS ARE DISMANTLING THE TEMPLE OF MANDULIS - THE NUBIAN SUN GOD - AND RE-ERECTING IT ON A SITE NEARBY.

    BUT SAFE FROM THE RISING WATERS.THEIR WORK - FINANCED BY THE BONN GOVERNMENT - BEGAN LATE IN 1961 AND WILL BE FINISHED BY THIS DECEMBER.

    AT ELEPHANTINE ISLAND, NEAR ASWAN, THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT HAVE TEMPORARILY STACKED THE DISMANTLED TEMPLES OF TEFFEH, DEBOO, AND QERTESSI UNTIL A SUITABLE SITE CAN BE FOUND FOR THEM.

    THE TEMPLES AT KARNAK ARE SOME OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ARCHITECTURE.FILM SHOWS THE GREAT TEMPLE OF AMUN-RA WITH ITS FAMOUS COLONNADED HYPO-STYLE HALL; THE OBELISK OF THOTMES III; AND THE AVENUE OF SMALL SPHINXES.THEIR LOBS, SAY EXPERTS, WOULD BE TRAGIC.

    SOME OF THE BETTER-KNOWN RELICS ARE AT LUXOR, IN THE VALLEY OF KINGS.THE CHIEF ATTRACTION IS THE TEMPLE OF QUEEN HATSHEPSUT, WHICH GRACED THE CITY OF THEBES, CENTRE OF EGYPT FROM 12TH CENTURY B.C.TO THE ARRIVAL OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

    IT SEEMS CERTAIN THAT APRIL 1 - THE CURRENT UNESCO DEADLINE - WILL BE THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT.NO MONEY, NO TEMPLES.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABNT1R8J2DEPIUK4Q71XU2HA1Q
    Media URN:
    VLVABNT1R8J2DEPIUK4Q71XU2HA1Q
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/03/1963
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:55:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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