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This paper shall address the Temple of Dendur that was given to the United States by Egypt in 1965 awarded to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967 and installed in The Sackler Wing in 1978 as a work of art that was executed for a single purpose that of drawing a visitor into the rear prayer room and that the building is as effective in achieving this purpose for even a modern viewer far removed from the religion and the period in which this artwork was first executed I will try to demonstrate this point through exploring the form of this extraordinary temple While perhaps not perceived as a work of art rather than a building the Temple of Dendur is one of the most remarkable works of art found within museums trove It dates from Nubia ca 15 BCE and is composed predominantly of carved sandstone blocks which form two separate pieces The first piece of this work is an entrance portal approximately eighteen feet in height and the second piece is a temple consisting of an anteroom and a rear chamber The length of the two pieces when it was first discovered was eighty- two feet from the entrance portal to the rear of the temple and the Metropolitan Museum has faithfully reproduced the remarkable masterpiece in a large glass- encased room The composition of the Temple of Dendur is remarkably easy for the eye to follow Instinctively the eye takes in the entrance portal and is lead by the design of the buildings back to the rear room where prayer is believed to have taken place The focus of the piece is found within this room where although it is not carved in a way to make it more distinguishable from the rest of the work but the structure is designed to take a person into Dendurs back chamber Researchers assume that several millennia ago this room was painted in vivid
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