A life-size replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza has reappeared in China - two years after it was torn down at the request of Egypt. The resurrection of the Sphinx at a theme park in North China's Hebei province has prompted a "furious" Egypt to file yet another complaint with UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural arm. Egypt had claimed, when it first protested the knockoff statue in 2014, that it could end up hurting the country's tourism industry, demanding it be taken down immediately. It took two years for China to finally tear down the statue - but pictures of the replica popped up again on social media last week.
Egypt's Sphinx is a limestone statue of the mythical creature with the body of a lion and head of a human.
The full-scale replica of the Sphinx was built in the outskirts of Shijiazhuang by a film production company, reports Shanghaiist.
The company, which also built a replica of France's Louvre glass pyramid, had claimed the reproductions were built as part of a film set and would be demolished once filming had finished. But the statue provided Chinese tourists a faux-Egypt experience without leaving the country and saw a steady stream of visitors.
Global Times, quoting Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Weekly, reports the country's Ministry of State of Antiquities first filed a complaint with UNESCO in 2014 to express its disapproval of the unauthorized replica. At the time, Egypt's Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim had called the statue "a bad imitation that disfigures the original."
It took two years for China to act on Egypt's complaint. Even then, workers only separated the creature's head from its body, reports South China Morning Post.
Chinese news website guancha.com reports the head was recently seen being re-attached to the Sphinx's body. The photos have prompted Egyptian officials to turn to UNESCO again.
South China Morning Post reports Egyptian authorities said that the statue was insulting to the Egypt's cultural heritage.
"It is a violation of Egypt's intellectual property and eventually China will remove the fake Sphinx," Ashraf Mohi Al-Din, General Manager of Giza Pyramid Plateau, told The Daily Telegraph.Click for more trending news