Top 5 most remarkable lifts and transportations of historical pieces
This top 5 has been made considering aspects such as the age of the monuments to be transported, their weight, structure and the intricacy of the project to be undertaken. Factors that increase the complexity of the transport and that makes the company that carries them out to execute a meticulous and well-planned work.
Madrid – March 23th 2022. — With time passing by large buildings and relics have had to be relocated from their place of origin to a new sites, due to problems related to the constant updating of cities, the new creation of museums that could house such antiques among others.
To carry out these complex operations over the years, it has been necessary a great coordination between historians, engineers and transporters, as well as a solid knowledge of the sector and the availability of enough means of transport and heavy lifting systems. Everything to ensure that the moved pieces reach their new homes without any damage, a goal that sounds simple, but because of their age, the fragility of their materials and their condition, increases the complexity of the project. Here are some of the most complex and memorable relocations of historical pieces carried out to date.
1. Solar Boat of Cheops
Cheops’ solar boat being transported by Sarens in Egypt during the Pharaohs’ parade
The famous funerary boat of Cheops or solar boat is a ship dating from 2,500 BC. This vessel has more than 43m in length, 5.6m in width and 1.5m in depth and could carry up to 45 tons in weight back in the day. It was buried at the foot of the pyramid of Giza and rediscovered in 1954 by a team of archaeologists who, at first, had no intention of digging it up, thinking it would be worthless.
The funerary boat of Kheops was found equipped with all the necessary material: oars, ropes, cabin, etc. Its main function it is still unknown, but it is believed that it was primordially used to transport the pharaoh’s body across the Nile, from Memphis to Giza. The over 4,600-year-old vessel was moved from the Khufu Naval Museum to the new Grand Egyptian Museum more than 10 km away in August 2021 by Sarens, the world’s leader in heavy lift and heavy machinery transportation company. The ship had to be delicately lifted horizontally and then placed on a 12-wheel trailer for its transfer to the new museum. In total the load amounted to 100 tons, due to the iron cage that was specially constructed around the boat to minimize movement and possible damage.
2. Oerlikon building
The relocated building was the former Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon factory. This 130year-old structure was once a Swiss train locomotive manufacturing plant. In total, the transference took 10 months to be completed from the planning to the execution from August 2011 to May 2012, due to the speed of the convoy at a speed of 5 meters per hour to reach its new location, exactly 60 meters away from its original emplacement. For this relocation, pioneering methodologies were used for the first time in Europe, such as the use of helium balloons attached to the roof of the structure to move the building with greater speed and ease.
3. Luxor Obelisk
Luxor obelisk in Place de la Concorde in Paris
The Luxor Obelisk, placed in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, has turned 186 years old on the French capital. The Obelisk dates back to the XIII b.C , it measures 23m high and weighs 462 tons in total, both the obelisk itself and its pedestal. The operation began in 1831 and ended in 1833, as it started sailing across the Nile, then reached Alexandria where it was towed by a steam corvette, and then travelled to Rouen, from there the obelisk sailed up the Seine and finally reached Paris, making a total of 3,700 kilometers approximately. In 1836 it was finally raised thanks to lifting machines and gigantic winches, all planned by the engineer Apollinaire Lebas, to finally be placed in the Place de la Concorde. Only the French royal family could watch the final allocation as spectators to avoid disappointments to the French people in case the operation was unsuccessful. This could be considered as the first major transportation of historical relics, being a precedent for later milestones.
4. Jinan Nunnery
Jinan Nunnery being transported by Sarens
The more than 100-year-old Jinan Chinese convent was moved in February 2021 by Sarens to its new location 76 meters away from its original emplacement. The building in total measures up to 36m length, 16m width and 16m height, with a total weight of 2,600 tons. For its transportation, 120 axle trailers and cranes were used to lift the convent. The relocation had to be carried out with great care due to the deteriorated state of the building and its ease of damage, but thanks to the Sarens expertise, the project was a complete success, and the convent was placed safely and without any damage in its new location.
5. Transfer of pieces from the Parthenon
In 2007, the transfer of a variety of relics from the Parthenon in Athens to its new museum located 300 meters away began. At the time, 15 years ago, it was considered the move of the century, since the antiquities that establish the lot had not been transported for over 2,500 years. The transportation required three cranes to carefully lift a 2.3 ton frieze, followed by several sculpted blocks from the Parthenon, other friezes, and statues, as well as several pieces from the Acropolis.
What these five projects have in common is thoughtful planning and careful execution, based on experience and industry knowledge. Areas in which Sarens, responsible for the carrying of the Jinan Nunnery and the Keops Solar Boat, is an expert, due to its more than 60 years of trajectory and its variety of previous projects, both at European and international level. Throughout its career, the Belgian company has specialized in projects related to renewable energy, nuclear, petrochemical, transportation, or civil engineering, among others, which provides Sarens with a unique and comprehensive track record that sets it apart in the industry, offering innovative and customized solutions to today’s problems.
The magnitude of these projects can only be carried out by companies with extensive experience and knowledge about engineering and the machinery to be used, due to the importance and delicacy of the monuments being transported. Emphasis is placed on the machinery and processes used for the realization of these projects, given the complexity and effort involved in them, which is rarely recognized, so when a company manages to perform these transfers successfully and without any damage, it is considered quite a feat, so the work done by Sarens is remarkable in this field.
Top 5 most remarkable lifts and transportations of historical pieces
Sarens is the global leader and reference in crane rental services, heavy lifting and engineered transport. With state-of-the-art equipment, value engineering, one of the world’s largest inventories of cranes, transporters, and specialty rigging equipment, Sarens offers creative and intelligent solutions to today’s heavy lifting and engineered transport challenges.
With more than 100 entities in 65 countries operating without borders, Sarens is an ideal partner for small-scale to mega scale projects. Sarens currently employs 4,543 highly skilled professionals who are prepared to support any client’s requirements around the globe and across every market sector. (www.sarens.com)
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