HL Deb 02 June 1851 vol 117 cc343-4

wished to inquire of the noble Earl the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, what steps had been taken for obtaining possession of, or for removing, the obelisk called "Cleopatra's Needle," which was present- ed to George IV. by the late Pasha of Egypt in 1820? The noble Marquess adverted to the proposal made for its removal to this country at the end of the campaign of 1801. The opinion of the late Sir Robert Peel expressed to himself was, that it was a monument which ought to be brought to London and erected as a memorial of Sir Ralph Abercromby and others who had fought and died in Egypt. The late Sir George Murray also stated, that he joined with all his military and naval friends, who desired that the obelisk should be brought to this country. Some obloquy had been thrown on the condition of this monument, under the impression that it was not of adequate value to compensate for the trouble and expense of removal. Perhaps its intrinsic value might not be much; but, as a monument, and as a trophy, it had a value peculiarly its own. The sculptures, he understood, were in comparatively good preservation. He had called attention to the subject solely at the request of several military and naval officers.


acknowledged the importance which attached to the obelisk, not merely as a memorial of the ancient art of Egypt, but also as a monument of British heroism. He had consulted with his noble Friend the First Lord of the Treasury, and inquiries had been made on the subject. There were, he apprehended, some mechanical difficulties, and all he could say was, that the matter was still under consideration.

House adjourned till To-morrow.