A replica of an obelisk from a famed site in Turkey over 10,000 years old will be exhibited on the grounds of UN headquarters in New York.
Work on installing the one-half scale T-shaped obelisk from the prehistoric site of Gobeklitepe in Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province began on Monday as part of a joint effort by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry and Foreign Ministry.
Installation work and landscaping are set to be completed this Saturday, followed by an opening ceremony on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, with the attendance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.
The replica, like all the obelisks in Gobeklitepe, was carved out of limestone – known in the region as "Sanliurfa stone" – over the course of some two months by Ahmet Demirtas, an archaeologist and sculptor from Sanliurfa, and his team.
The UN headquarters hosts a collection of nearly 200 artworks, historical objects, and architectural pieces officially donated by member states, foundations, and individual donors since 1950.
Gobeklitepe was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018.
The famed ancient site was discovered in 1963 by researchers from Istanbul and Chicago universities.
In joint work at the site since 1995, the German Archaeological Institute and Sanliurfa Museum have found T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic era towering three to six meters (10-20 feet) high and weighing 40-60 tons.
During the excavations, diverse 12,000-year-old artifacts such as human statuettes 65 centimeters (26 inches) high were also unearthed.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz