Credit: KAREN WONG

The Penn Museum celebrated its reopening to the public with the newly restored Mexico and Central America Gallery, Africa Galleries, and the Sphinx Gallery on Saturday. The 25,000-pound Sphinx of Ramses II now welcomes visitors at the main entrance. The weekend-long event featured hands-on activities and demonstrations for visitors.

The Penn Museum moved the Sphinx for the first time in nearly a century on June 12. The relocation team transported the 3,000-year-old statue from the Egypt Gallery to the main entrance hall as the last part of the three-day, 300-foot journey. 

The event was organized in partnership with NBC10 Philadelphia, Telemundo 62, and the Center for Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Credit: Karen Wong


The 2000-square-foot Mexico and Central American Gallery houses more than 250 artifacts – the largest collection of Mayan monuments in the United States. 

Credit: Karen Wong

Located in the Mexico and Central American gallery, the Penn Museum has the most Maya stone stelae or upright stone on view in the United States. 

Credit: Karen Wong


A spiritual leader leads a blessing of the African galleries. 

Credit: Karen Wong

There was a marketplace filled with Latin American and African goods such as jewelry. 

Credit: Karen Wong


Children created various adinkra symbols such as Asase Ye Duru, which means mother earth. 

Credit: Karen Wong

A woman demonstrates how to back-strap weave a scarf. 

Credit: Karen Wong

Adults learned the art of writing hieroglyphs. 

Credit: Karen Wong

Children took part in a Maya Glyph Stamping Art Activity. 

Credit: Karen Wong

Calaveras, a representation of a human skull, were on display to honor Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead. 

Credit: Karen Wong

Visitors got a chance to look at the Penn Museum Archives. 

Credit: Karen Wong

Throughout the day, guided tours gave visitors a deeper understanding of the different galleries. 

Credit: Karen Wong

The 4,000-square-foot Africa Galleries showcases 300 artifacts such as the elephant tusk. 

Credit: Karen Wong

MAYA AWAL, a multi-generational Guatemalan group, performed the deer dance. 

Credit: Karen Wong

The Maya Sawdust carpet on display brings Maya traditions to life. 

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