New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting a "weathering study" of Cleopatra's Needle, which was gifted to the United States government by Egypt as a token to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal. The obelisk has stood in Central Park since 1881
In January, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, wrote that the obelisk's time in New York had degraded it. Its hieroglyps were wearing away because of the city's acid rain. Hawass threatened to "take the necessary steps to bring this precious artifact home."
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