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The location of the Temple of Debod, called into question

By | 23 April, 2020 | 0 comments

The location of the Temple of Debod has recently been called into question. This Egyptian temple, in Madrid since 1972, sits quietly in Oeste Park and is the perfect setting for watching beautiful sunsets.temple-968929_1280

Although it has stood in the capital for the past 48 years, it was created back in the 2nd century BC. It was donated by the Egyptian government to the city of Madrid, where it was reconstructed stone by stone, as a token of gratitude for the city’s cooperation in the construction of the Aswan Dam in 1954, which involved flooding the valley where this and four other temples stood.

UNESCO set the conditions of the exchange. The temples were to be preserved and every recipient country would have to take care of and protect them. So, is the Temple of Debod being properly taken care of?

This is the main question put forward by archaeologists and experts who claim UNESCO’s condition was that the recipient countries must place the temples in indoor spaces that are open to the public, like a museum.

This condition has always existed, but it has only sparked a debate now in Madrid. In recent years, several investigations have been carried out to learn how to best preserve the building, and recently the city hall published a plan detailing how to raise awareness about the temple’s importance and history and how to preserve and restore it.

This mention of preservation has led many to wonder whether the temple would be better off in an indoor space with limited visits, to better protect these ancient stones from the weather conditions of Madrid, which are very different from the ones of Nubia, where the temple is originally from.

It’s probably going to take a few more sunsets until a decision is reached and the temple will either be moved to a new location or surrounded by a large transparent display box.

Categories: Madrid Cultura