Sphinx in Hiding: Penn Museum Closes Famous Egyptian Gallery for Several Years of Renovations

The famous Penn Museum Sphinx will be hidden from public eye as the Penn Museum undergoes major renovations to its Egyptian Gallery

The largest Egyptian Sphinx in the western hemisphere is officially closed to the public for the next few years.

The project at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia's University City officially began on Monday, ending the nearly century-long run of public visits to the red sphinx and the entire gallery. While the third floor Egypt Gallery remains open to guests, the exhibit’s main attraction will not be included in that section.

The renovations will include a new HVAC system, improved exhibit infrastructure and visitor amenities, museum officials said.

In addition to the construction, the overhaul of the galleries allows much needed conservation time for many of the artifacts.

Since being installed in 1926, "some of the pieces have received no major conservation attention since then," head conservator Lynn Grant told NBC10.

Over the last few weeks, the Penn Museum encouraged fans to say goodbyes, for now. This past weekend, they hosted a "See You Later" event in which visitors could take a free professional photograph in front of the Sphinx.

Visit the Penn Museum website to find out more information about the project.

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