Michael Martinez, Gainesville, Florida
The Egyptian obelisk in New York City’s Central Park was originally erected in Heliopolis during the reign of King Thutmosis III (1479-1425 B.C.), moved to Alexandria 1,500 years later by the Roman emperor Augustus, and more than 1,800 years after that was donated to the United States. It arrived in New York in 1881 and took 112 days to transport to its present location, where it was nicknamed “Cleopatra’s Needle,” though it had nothing to do with her. Michael says, “This model was built with a plastic frame, putty, and clay. It required 400 separate carvings. I projected an image of the obelisk onto the floor and carved while laying on my stomach.” The full-size obelisk is 71' tall, making Michael’s 14" model about 1/61 scale.