Work began in Rotterdam today (Monday) on unloading the ancient Temple of Taffe, a gift from the late President Nasser to the people of the Netherlands.
Work began in Rotterdam today (Monday) on unloading the ancient Temple of Taffe, a gift from the late President Nasser to the people of the Netherlands. The gift is in recognition of the major Dutch contribution to the rescue of Nubian monuments threated by the waters of the Aswan High Dam.
Professor Klasens of Leiden State Museum was at the dockside to watch the unloading. For him it is the first stage of an operation which will be completed next year with the rebuilding of the temple at the museum.
The temple, with an area of 26 feet by 23ft (8 x 7 metres), stands 13 feet (4 m) high. It weights 300 tons and was dismantled into 644 pieces for the voyage from Alexandria.
It was built for the worship of the Egyptian goddess Isis about two thousand years ago, and later became a Christian church. Taffe, the temple's former site, is 30 miles (50 km) south of Aswan, an area which has now disappeared under the waters of the High Dam.
Dutch scientists and engineers played an important role in saving Nubian monuments, including the famous temples of Abu Simbel, under the rescue operation mounted by UNESCO. The Netherlands Government also made a considerable financial contribution to the scheme.