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New York, New York: Cleopatra's Needle

A 70-foot-tall, 3,500-year-old outdoor Egyptian obelisk that in fact has nothing to do with Cleopatra.

1000 5th Ave., New York, NY
In Central Park directly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enter the park just north of E. 79th St. at 5th Ave./Central Park West. Follow the path behind the Museum to the obelisk.
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Cleopatra's Needle.

Cleopatra's Needle

This obelisk is 70 feet tall, and at 3,500 years old, it is the oldest outdoor monument in New York City. It was a gift from Egypt and erected in Central Park in 1881. A bronze casting translates the hieroglyphs for us non-Egyptologists. Cleopatra's Needle was commissioned by Pharaoh Thutmosis III around 1450 BC -- so the Queen of the Nile actually had very little to do with it.

[Mike Gassmann, 06/08/2019]

The Needle was a essentially a bribe given to America by 19th century Egypt to stay out of its internal affairs. America's richest man, William Vanderbilt, paid for the shipping -- and he lived in New York City. The Needle weighs 238 tons.

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