Cairo: Egypt has revamped the iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo as part of an ambitious scheme to restore the age-old capital.
Tahrir was the epicentre of a 2011 popular uprising that forced longtime president Hosni Mubarak to resign.
The centerpiece of the plaza’s overhaul is an ancient obelisk transported from the Delta province of Sharqia, restored and recently installed in Tahrir. The Ramses II Obelisk is about 19 metres tall and weighs 90 tonnes.
Another landmark in the renovation process are four ancient ram-headed sphinxes installed in the square that is home to the Arab League, the Egyptian Museum and luxury hotels.
The project also includes upgrading the lighting system, removing billboards atop the buildings around the square and repainting their facades in one harmonious colour to highlight Tahrir features, according to officials.
“The development of Tharir, Egypt’s most famous square, aims at presenting it in the best shape to be another tourist attraction as part of the project to develop the Khedival Cairo,” said Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, referring to the 19th central part of the Egyptian capital.
Tahrir’s overhaul began in September 2019 at an estimated cost of 150 million Egyptian pounds (Dh35 million), according to the government.
A company has been assigned managing the square and preserving its fresh look against infringements.