Reda Abdel Halim, the director of public relations for the Giza pyramids district at the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told local media on Oct. 24 that he discovered a statue in the pyramids area that is of similar size to the Sphinx.
According to him, the statue is 73 meters (239 ft) high, with a head 20.5 meters (67 ft) high, and hands extended over 15.5 meters (50 ft), like the Sphinx.
He added that scientific research was published at Zagazig University confirming the existence of this statue.
However, “This is completely not true,” Zahi Hawass, former Minister of Antiquities and an archaeologist who oversaw the pyramids area for nearly 20 years, told Al-Monitor.
“The Sphinx is unique in Egypt and the world. … Any talk about discoveries of other similar statues is baseless and has only one purpose, which is creating media fanfare,” he added.
“Any claims about research on the Sphinx at the Zagazig University is also false,” Hawass went on, stressing that Egyptian archaeologists are not aware of current scientific research in any Egyptian university about the discovery of any such statue.
“Studies and research must be published in a scientific journal so that we can respond with scientific evidence. Talks about a text that is said to have been inscribed on the Sphinx but got erased by the passage of the time mentioning the existence of another similar statue, are baseless,” Hawass said.
“During the many years I headed the Giza pyramids area, we worked along with Egyptian and foreign experts and archeologists, scanning the entire area, and I can assure you there is not another statue of the Sphinx,” he added.
Abdel Halim stuck to his claims, stressing in his press statement that the discovered statue is another Sphinx and that the writings on the original statue that were erased are proof of his claims.
However, Nevin al-Arif, media advisor to the minister of tourism and antiquities, told Al-Monitor, “All these statements about a new Sphinx are baseless.” Archaeologists and experts, including the Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mustafa al-Waziri, have denied the claims, she said.
“The statue in question was discovered a long time ago in the area and has nothing to do with the original Sphinx. It is nothing but a normal statue,” she told Al-Monitor.
Although, the Egyptian Government seems to be set in its ways with regards to any new evidence that might change what we know about the ancient monuments. only time will tell if there truly is another Sphinx out in the deserts of Egypt.