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Photos: 1920s Hollywood Sphinx Goes on Display

A plaster sphinx, more than 90 years old and weathered by the elements, will make its 21st-century debut at a museum in Guadalupe, California, tomorrow (June 12). Researchers based the reconstruction on old footage and photos of the sphinxes from the 1923 production of "The Ten Commandments." (Photo Credit: Dunes Center, Guadalupe, California.) [Read the full story on the new sphinx exhibit]

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. EDT June 13 to add photos of the restored face, body and paw of the sphinxes filmed on the original movie set.


Actors on the set of the movie 90 years ago.

Uncovering history

The team uncovers the famous sphinx. 

Capturing the moment

The staff snaps a picture with the sphinx. 

A formidable structure

An image of the sphinx from the movie. 

Restoring former majesty

The team works to repair damage from more than nine decades in the desert. 

A nostalgic image

A historic scene captured on film from decades ago. 

Facing up

A restorer created a plaster face that resembled the sphinx to hold the artifacts excavated from the dune, seen here in pink and white.

Sideways profile

A view of the reconstructed sphinx face from the side. The public is invited to see the exhibit at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center.

Giant paw

The crew of the 1923 blockbuster "The Ten Commandments" painted this giant sphinx paw a pink hue so that it would appear gray in the black and white movie.

Sphinx reconstructed

Art restorers used Elmer's Glue to piece the sphinx's body back together.

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Laura Geggel
As an associate editor for Live Science, Laura Geggel covers general science, including the environment, archaeology and amazing animals. She has written for The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site covering autism research. Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU. When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee.