Will Egypt Prosecute Napoleon For Breaking Sphinx’s Nose?


I don’t know what’s more crazy, that someone actually submitted this request, or that the Arab media actually publish this story, albeit under Offbeat and Jokes.

An Egyptian citizen demanded the trial of the late French leader Napoleon Bonaparte on charges of breaking the Sphinx’s nose and the desecration of Al-Azhar.


Tawfiq bin Ibrahim, from the western province, filed a complaint to the Egyptian Public Prosecutor Counselor Talat Abdullah calling for “Trial of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte and against the French people for an assault on the dignity of the Pharaohs and broking the nose of the Sphinx, and the desecration of Al-Azhar Mosque, as well as the trial of everyone who has taken part in these heinous acts.”

He added that “if the French people did not return the nose – the pride and dignity of the Egyptian Great Sphinx – then this is an assault and a crime against the Egyptian people”.

Bin Ibrahim also called for the return of looted Egyptian antiquities and the severest punishment on the traitors who have stolen and smuggled abroad

The  Sphinx statue – which embodies the human head and body of a lion – sits in front of the Pyramids of Giza ( south of Cairo ) and was built by King Khafre, the fourth king of the Fourth Dynasty. It’s nose was broken during an artillery bombardment carried out by French forces beginning a crackdown on Egypt led by Napoleon Bonaparte, which lasted three years (1798 to 1801). The French forces raided the Al-Azhar mosque to suppress “the first revolution of Cairo” that was launched in order to expel the French colonists.

Israel should be worried, Egypt might sue it for $500 Bn for the occupation of the Sinai.. oh, wait.

Update: It also appears that Napoleon breaking the Sphinx nose is just a myth.

A poll conducted on the Internet found that fully 21% of respondents believed Napoleon was responsible for the Sphinx’s missing nose. One of the most recent examples of the persistence of this falsehood was Louis Farrakhan’s “Million Man March” speech.

This error has persisted in spite of the fact that the truth can be readily found in such common reference sources as the Encyclopedia Americana> (Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1995). vol.25, p.492-3 under “Sphinx”, which states: “Over the centuries the Great Sphinx has suffered severely from weathering…Man has been responsible for additional mutilation. In 1380 A.D. the Sphinx fell victim to the iconoclastic ardor of a fanatical Muslim ruler, who caused deplorable injuries to the head. Then the figure was used as a target for the guns of the Mamluks.” In the book The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference(Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1990), p.301, the author, J.P. Lepre, adds the fact that, in addition to the 14th century damage, “The face was further disfigured by the eighteenth century A.D. ruler of Egypt, the Marmalukes [Mamluks].”

Greener goes on to say: “this exonerates the artillerymen of Napoleon Bonaparte, who have the popular reputation of having used the nose of the Sphinx as a target.” The charge against Napoleon is particularly unjust because the French general brought with him a large group of “savants” to conduct the first scientific study of Egypt and its antiquities.

Read the whole thing.

h/t Benjamin of Tudela

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Dan Smith has been exposing anti-Israel fallacies since the first time he opened the world wide web on Netscape Navigator, sometime in the late 90's. His lack of formal journalistic, political and sociological education means he is still capable of objective, unbiased views and opinions. A judge of media, pundits and media pundits.