Sacredness, is it site-specific? Is it lost when the geo-cultural context is altered?
The Temple of Debod may provide an answer. The setting is a perfect one from an aesthetic viewpoint: the temple dominates a beautiful park, surrounded by an artificial pond in an attempt to recreate –in part- the original context. A closer look reveals that it is not that perfect from a conservation perspective, because –unlike other Pharaonic temples outside Egypt- Debod is set in the open, subject to Madrid’s polluted air and extreme weather conditions.
Why Madrid then? What brought the Temple to Spain in the first place? The answer takes us back to Egypt of the 1960s, and to the epic UNESCO Campaign to save the Monuments of Nubia from being lost forever.
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