The largest sphinx in the western hemisphere is on the move right now! The Penn Museum’s 25,000-pound sphinx from the reign of Rameses II is being moved to its new location in the Main Entrance Hall. This is the first time it has seen daylight since it was installed in the museum’s Lower Egypt Gallery in 1926.
See it all go down in real time in the video below.
They’re using a system of air dollies to raise it just enough above the ground that it moves at a hover. There are four dollies under each corner that use pressurized air to lift the sphinx. The ramp is at a slight incline to enlist the aid of gravity while still keeping the rate of movement under close control.
The museum is undergoing a major transformation of its exhibition spaces, so you won’t be able to see the sphinx in its new home until the grand reopening on November 16th.