A scale model of the Lateran Obelisk in ‘rosso antico’ marble with hieroglyphs in gold.
One of the oldest architectonical elements of Rome is without doubt the Lateran obelisk. It finds its origin in the temple of Karnak and was centuries later moved to Alexandria. Emperor Constantine II had it shipped to Rome in AD 357 to be placed in the Circus Maximus. Over the centuries it fell in ruin and got covered by earth. Pope Sixtus V ordered excavation and placed it next to the Lateran Palace in 1588, filling the gap left by the statue of Marcus Aurelius that had been moved to the Capitoline hill 50 years earlier. Now, 430 years later, the obelisk still stands on the place after which it took its name.
As it was the highest Egyptian obelisk in the world it became a major attraction on the Grand Tour. Scale models were eagerly taken home to show to family and friends. This is a rare version in red marble with the hieroglyphs not only carved but painted gold as well.
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