Friday, May 30, 2008

Sphinx in need of bird repellent

Egypt Daily Star News (Ahmed Maged)

The crowds of pigeons, doves and sparrows that have been landing regularly on several parts of the Sphinx indicate that the level of humidity is dangerously increasing within the stone structure of the statue, senior tour guide Bassam El Shammaa warned.

Visitors to the site have noticed birds settling on the statue’s head and the shaded northern part of the structure. Other birds sit in the shaded gaps that make up the Sphinx’s eyes and ears.

Besides leaving behind acidic droppings, the birds also slowly eat into the fragile stone as they pick the tiny grains of sand.

El Shammaa launched an on-line campaign last year called “Save the Sphinx,” in which he expanded on his theory that the rising groundwater levels endanger the monument, with water seeping into the stone and creating calcium deposits.

It is these calcium deposits, he says, that are attracting increased numbers of birds.

See the above page for the full story, with photograph.

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