Central Park at East 81st Street (behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
New York, NY 10028
Open: When Central Park is open from dawn to dusk depending on the season
I always admire Cleopatra’s Needle when ever I am touring Central Park West after an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sometimes I think the tourists miss this interesting artifact and how it got here from Egypt.
Cleopatra’s Needle (obelisk) was erected in Central Park, just west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 22, 1881. It was secured in May 1877 by Judge Elbert E. Farnam, the then United State Consul General of Cairo as a gift from the Khedive for the United States remaining friendly neutral as the European powers, France and Britain, maneuvered to secure political control of the Egyptian government.
The obelisk is a twin of the obelisk given to London at the same time and come from the ancient city of Alexandria. The name is a misnomer as they have no relationship with the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and were already over a thousand years old in her lifetime (please see the Wiki link attached to the blog for more information on the obelisk).
The obelisk is free to the public and can be seen by taking the path behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is open all day.