The torso of a giant statue believed to be of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II was lifted from under a northeast Cairo slum on Monday after a huge head and other fragments were extracted from the same site last week.
The relics were found close to the temple of Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, who ruled Egypt from 1279–1213 BC. Experts believe the colossus may represent him.
A bulldozer pulled the first part of the eight metre quartzite statue from mud and groundwater beneath a building site in the working class area of Matariya.
The find by archaeologists from Egypt and Germany has been hailed as potentially one of the most important discoveries ever as it shows the vast scale and importance of the ancient city of Heliopolis, the site of Ramses II's temple located in the eastern part of modern-day Cairo.
More excavation work is continuing in the area to search for other statues and artefacts, Aymen Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian team said, according to a statement from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Meanwhile, Egypt's antiquities ministry said on Monday it had set up a commission of enquiry to probe whether the giant head of the statue was detached from the body while it was being forklifted from the ground, as some local media reports claimed.