Cleopatra’s Needle in shoddy shape, Egyptian officials say

January 10, 2011 11:02AM

Egyptian officials are threatening to rescind Cleopatra’s Needle, an ancient granite monument that sits in Central Park, according to the New York Post. Zahi Hawass, secretary general for the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, has written a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, accusing city officials of not doing enough to preserve the 3,500-year-old obelisk. “It has recently been brought to my attention that this incredibly valuable monument has been severely weathered over the past century and that no efforts have been made to conserve it,” Hawass said of the needle, which sits behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But Jonathan Kuhn, director of art and antiquities at the Department of Parks & Recreation, said that proper care and attention has been given to the monument. “We have been working in recent years with the Metropolitan Museum and the Central Park Conservancy to further analyze the condition of the obelisk and monitor its condition,”Kuhn said. “We have great regard for this Egyptian artifact.” [Post]