This handsome obelisk was a gift to the United States from Egypt in 1881, in recognition of the help this country gave in the construction of the Suez Canal. Transporting the 200-ton pillar took 38 days from Alexandria to New York by ship, and then another 144 just to get it from the Hudson River to Central Park. It originally stood at the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis, and is believed to have been erected in 1600 b.c. The Romans moved it in the 12th century to the front of a temple built by Cleopatra, hence the name. A plaque at the base translates the hieroglyphics.