Nubiana

THE GREAT UNDERTAKING THAT SAVED
THE TEMPLES OF ABU SIMBEL

Press release

Egypt in the Italian Opera

The La Scala Chamber Orchestra, at La Triennale di Milano, dedicates a concert for the 50th anniversary of the Abu Simbel Temple rescue, with music from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida”

Press release
On September 22, 1968, the sun rising over the Nile valley cast new shadows. It was a special day for Egypt and the whole world because the work of moving the tem¬ples of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel was complete. It took five years’ work involving 2,000 men for a total of 40 million man-hours and the involvement of the world’s finest construction companies. A race against time to secure the two temples from the reservoir of water that would be filled with the construction of the Aswan Dam.


The incredible feat was the result of immense effort and a unique piece of engineering excellence never achieved before. For five years the men working on the Abu Simbel site did a meticulous job, in the midst of extraordinary technical difficulties that had to be solved quickly and required unusual, specific skills. Salini Impregilo took part in the initiative, and was given the task of dismantling the temples, which were divided into 1,070 blocks, and building an artificial hill, similar to the original, which would be their new home, thus preserving them for future generations to admire.

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Preserving the past for future generations

Today Salini Impregilo is still proud to have written a few pages of that story. It remembers with admiration, through a book in collaboration with the Museo Egizio of Turin, all those people who, with their unique abilities and skills, achieved this remarkable feat.

Dismantling two temples, reassembling them elsewhere and perfectly reconstructing the landforms around them was a visionary idea and represented a new frontier for our sector. It would have to achieve unprecedented levels of excellence to prevent this heritage from being damaged or even lost forever.

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