PHILADELPHIA — The largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere was on the prowl Wednesday for the first time in nearly 100 years.
The Penn Museum in Philadelphia relocated its 25,000-pound (11,340-kilogram), 3,000-year-old sphinx of Pharaoh Ramses II from the Egypt Gallery where it has resided since 1926.
The sphinx’s slow, painstaking journey began Wednesday morning and took several hours. It moved about 250 feet (76 meters) to a featured location in the museum’s new entrance hall.
Museum officials used air dollies to move the statue up a specially constructed ramp and through a series of doorways, windows, hairpin turns and tight squeezes.
Museum director Julian Siggers says the sphinx has been the museum’s unofficial mascot for a long time, and its new location will put it “front and center.”