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Bust of Italian Explorer Belzoni to be Unveiled in Egypt’s Luxor | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tourists and visitors queue outside the temple of Abu Simbel at the upper reaches of the Nile in Aswan, Egypt. (Reuters)

Luxor, London – A bust of Giovanni Battista Belzoni will be unveiled in Egypt’s Abu Simbel as part of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the historical city by the Italian explorer.

Paolo Sabbatini, director of the Italian Cultural Center in Cairo, said the statue, which was designed in Luxor by Italian sculptor Walter Venturi, author of “The Great Belzoni,” will be unveiled on October 19, as part of the International Research Conference, held by Italy in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

The conference will highlight many of Belzoni’s secrets and archaeological discoveries in Giza, Luxor and Aswan. It will be held with the participation of a group of Egyptology scientists from Italy, Egypt and some European countries.

Speaking to the German News Agency (dpa), Paolo said that the Belzoni bust will be the highlight of a special exhibition that features a collection of rare photographs of the Italian explorer and his journey in the field of excavation of Egyptian antiquities.

The exhibition will be managed by Egyptian researcher and historian Francis Amin, who has the largest collection of historical photographs that document various Egyptian temples and tombs, especially in Luxor.

The unveiling will be among a number of archaeological, cultural and artistic events that will be held in October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Belzoni’s discovery of the Abu Simbel temple in southern Aswan.

The city of Abu Simbel is expected to see a mass celebration on October 22, under the patronage of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and with the participation of Italian and European artists and scientists specialized in Egyptology.