Update: Cleopatra’s Needle gets a Facelift!

In my post Eye on the Needle: The Fight to Save an Iconic Monument, the desperate need for conservation work on an obelisk currently housed in NYC’s Central Park, affectionately called Cleopatra’s Needle, was being promoted through an up-and-coming documentary.

I am happy to report that since May 2014, conservators have been giving Cleopatra’s Needle a laser treatment unlike any other.

Read this amazing article published in the New York Times on July 10,2014 (published electronically July 9 2014) discussing the conservation efforts!

Nearly 3,500 Years Old, an Egyptian Monument Gets a Laser Cleaning

10BLOCKSweb1-master675 (courtesy of the NY Times)


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3 thoughts on “Update: Cleopatra’s Needle gets a Facelift!

  1. Tom

    It said in the article they were going to treat the stone with a compound that stabilizes the stone on a molecular level. Any idea what that is? Or what might be a bad choice (clear masonry waterproofing for example)?

    • Great question! Specifics are hard to uncover, but it appears that they will first attempt to treat the stone with adhesive products typically used on granite. Nothing is very detailed, but it appears after many tests they have decided that after the laser cleaning, the best process for stabilization is through the adhesive. I definitely agree that clear masonry waterproofing would be a poor choice for stabilization. Considering the age of the stone and its history (spending many years lying in sand after being toppled by Persians), it needs that molecular stabilization that this granite adhesive will provide.

      • Tom

        Thanks. Googling “granite adhesive” brings up a variety of products.

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