June 12, 2019
The largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere, the 25,000 pound red granite Sphinx of the Pharaoh Ramses II was moved from its former location in the Egypt Gallery at the Penn Museum, to a new permanent location in the reimagined Main Entrance Hall on Wednesday.
Visitors will have a chance to see the sphinx in its new location beginning on Nov. 16.
"In just a few months, we will mark the completion of the next milestone in our "Building Transformation project," said Dr. Julian Siggers, Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In addition to the sphinx greeting visitors upon arrival, the museum will also unveil the redesigned Mexico and Central American Gallery, the Africa Galleries and a 614-seat auditorium that day.
Moving the object was no easy feat and required dozens of people, including Penn Museum officials, structural engineers, contractors, volunteers, and a sophisticated, compressor-powered air dolly system to help lift and move the sphinx along a custom-build walkway.
The total distance moved was around 250 feet and took nearly 6 hours. Before the move, engineers had 3D-scan the sphinx to determine its weight and density to make sure other areas of the building, as well as the ramp constructed to move it there, could support the object.
Below are some photos from the sphinx's journey.