Egypt’s obelisks have captured human imagination from the time of their construction to the present day, attracting the interest of the Roman emperor Augustus, Napoleon Bonaparte, and William Henry Vanderbilt, among others. New York City is home to one of the most magnificent Egyptian obelisks, which followed a fraught and circuitous path from the granite quarries of Aswan to Fifth Avenue. Here, renowned Egyptologist Bob Brier explains its history and the technical genius and political savvy needed to secure this treasure for America.
Octavian Report: The Egyptian obelisk in Central Park has a fascinating backstory — can you talk about its provenance and history?
Bob Brier is the author of Cleopatra’s Needles and one of the world’s foremost experts on mummies.