Does this temple look familiar to anybody who lives in Madrid or has ever visited the city?
Actually, the resemblance of the Temple of Dendur situated in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Temple of Debod located in Madrid, is not just a coincidence. In 1965 the Egyptian Governament presented the Temple of Dendur as a gift to the USA in recognition of the joint assistance, among other countries, in saving significant monuments from being sumerged by Lake Nasser. Italy, the Netherlands and Spain also received Egyptian Temples as a thankful gesture. However, in order to preserve the enviroment where the temples were built in the first place, Egypt demanded that the new locations would meet 3 main requirements:
- 1º Condition: They had to be surrounded by water as a reminiscence of its original site at the banks of the Nile River.
- 2º Condition: They had to recieve sunlight.
- 3º Condition: They needed to be used for educational purposes.
In consequence, the Temple of Dendur reunited all the conditions: It is surrounded by a shallow pool, lighted through a huge glazed panel and hosted in a museum. Bearing those requirements in mind, anyone can notice that the Temple of Debod is equally surrounded by a pool, is placed outside and hosts its own museum.
Since the Temple of Debod is one of my favorite spots in Madrid, I couldn´t lose the opportunity of bringing it to NY while visiting the Met Museum, besides other reasons. That would mean another tick off my NY bucket list, right?