Mas­ter­piece in minia­ture

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QUES­TION Does the plas­ter design from which Mount Rush­more was copied still ex­ist? Mount Rush­more na­tional Me­mo­rial is a mon­u­men­tal sculp­ture carved into the gran­ite face of Mount Rush­more, near Key­stone, in South Dakota. Sculpted by Dan­ish-Amer­i­can Gut­zon Bor­glum and his son Lin­coln, it fea­tures 60 ft sculp­tures of the heads of four u.S. pres­i­dents: Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, thomas Jef­fer­son, theodore Roo­sevelt and Abra­ham Lin­coln.

South Dakota his­to­rian Doane Robinson is cred­ited with the idea of carv­ing the like­nesses of fa­mous peo­ple into the Black Hills re­gion to pro­mote tourism. He wanted it to fea­ture he­roes such as na­tive Amer­i­can chief Red Cloud and show­man Buf­falo Bill Cody, but Bor­glum de­cided the sculp­ture should have a more na­tional fo­cus.

Con­struc­tion be­gan in 1927 and was not com­pleted un­til oc­to­ber 31, 1941. Bor­glum died on March 6, 1941, be­fore see­ing his project fin­ished, and Lin­coln com­pleted it. Re­mark­ably for such a large project in those days, no con­struc­tion work­ers were killed.

Bor­glum’s orig­i­nal plas­ter design, a 1/12thscale ren­der­ing of the sculp­ture, was kept in an on-site stu­dio from 1927 to 1939. Sev­eral changes had to be made to Bor­glum’s orig­i­nal design, largely de­ter­mined by cracks and flaws in the rock.

In 1939, the Sculp­tor’s Stu­dio was built on site for Bor­glum at the foot of the tow­er­ing mon­u­ment. Sev­eral plas­ter mod­els, in­clud­ing the scale ren­der­ing and work­ers’ tools, are dis­played there.

Spe­cial pro­grammes, in­clud­ing a short stu­dio talk on the moun­tain- carv­ing process and ex­hibits ex­plain­ing Gut­zon Bor­glum’s vi­sion, make this a must- see while vis­it­ing the park.

Kate Hen­shaw, St Al­bans, Herts. QUES­TION Ramesses II claimed a great vic­tory at the Bat­tle of Kadesh and erected mon­u­ments and tem­ples to the vic­tory. But did he, in fact, lose this bat­tle? tHe Poem of Pen­taur is Ramesses II’s of­fi­cial egyp­tian record (along with the Bul­letin) of his mil­i­tary vic­tory over Hit­tite King Muwatalli II at the Bat­tle of Kadesh (in what is now Syria) in 1273 or 1274 BC.

to re­in­force the idea of his suc­cess, he had the poem in­scribed on the walls of tem­ples at Abydos, Luxor, Kar­nak, Abu Sim­bel and in his Rames­seum. It de­tails his per­sonal brav­ery and concludes that ‘all the lands and all the for­eign coun­tries be­ing fallen pros­trate be­neath his san­dals for eter­nity and ever­last­ing’.

the first schol­arly report on the bat­tle, by James Henry Breasted in 1903, in­ter­preted the poem as his­tor­i­cal fact. But later ev­i­dence and a scoff­ing com­plaint by Hat­tusili, the Hit­tite king’s brother, about the pharaoh’s vic­to­ri­ous de­pic­tion of the bat­tle can be found in the Pa­pyrus Raifet and Pa­pyrus Sal­lier III.

the Hit­tites, an an­cient Ana­to­lian peo­ple whose cap­i­tal was at Hat­tusa, now in cen­tral turkey, had long been mak­ing in­cur­sions into egypt. Ramesses II re­solved to drive the men­ace from his bor­ders once and for all.

the lynch­pin to his cam­paign was the great city of Kadesh, a cen­tre of com­merce at the time, held by the Hit­tites.

Ramesses marched from egypt at the head of more than 20,000 men, di­vided into four di­vi­sions. He led the Amun di­vi­sion with the Re, Ptah and Set di­vi­sions fol­low­ing. King Muwatalli as­sem­bled an army of his al­lies to pre­vent this in­va­sion of his ter­ri­tory.

over- en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, Ramesses out­ran the rest of his force, and af­ter hear­ing un­re­li­able in­tel­li­gence re­gard­ing the Hit­tite po­si­tion from a pair of cap­tured prison­ers, he pitched his camp close to the town.

the Hit­tite armies, hid­den be­hind the town, launched a sur­prise at­tack against the Amun di­vi­sion and quickly sent it scat­ter­ing. Ramesses tried to rally his troops against the on­slaught of Hit­tite char­i­ots, but it wasn’t un­til the ar­rival of re­lief forces from Amurru that the Hit­tite at­tack was forced back.

the egyp­tians avoided an out­right dis­as­ter at Kadesh, but it was a stale­mate rather than the splen­did vic­tory that Ramesses later sought to por­tray.

Af­ter an un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt to gain fur­ther ground the fol­low­ing day, Ramesses headed back south to egypt, brag­ging about his per­sonal achieve­ments in the bat­tle.

the fact that the Hit­tites con­tin­ued to oc­cupy the city of Kadesh af­ter the bat­tle (and har­ried trade car­a­vans from that site) sup­ports their claim to hav­ing scored a vic­tory over Ramesses.

But in the bat­tle, the Pharoah and his army had driven the en­emy from the field, in­flict­ing heavy ca­su­al­ties (a claim sup­ported by both ac­counts) and re­turned to egypt with his forces in­tact.

the Bat­tle of Kadesh has great his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance in that it led di­rectly to the world’s first known peace treaty, in 1258 BC, in which Ramesses II of egypt and Hat­tusili of the Hit­tites promised to re­spect each other’s bound­aries and not make war be­tween their king­doms.

Peter Smith, Durham.

QUES­TION Why does the Navy have a dif­fer­ent salute from the Army and RAF? FuR­tHeR to the ear­lier an­swer, another fac­tor is the height of deck heads (ceil­ings to land­lub­bers) in small ships, which gov­erns how high it’s wise to raise the salut­ing hand.

Many a time, a mil­i­tary po­lice­man, while re­port­ing the way­ward be­hav­iour of a Jack tar ashore at the de­fault­ers’ ta­ble, dis­cov­ered how a cor­rect Army salute could se­ri­ously dam­age the salut­ing hand.

the Royal navy al­ways takes the salut­ing arm the short­est way up and the short­est way down. the Royal Marines have adapted their salute to meet all sit­u­a­tions, by tak­ing the long­est way up, bend­ing the wrist for safety and the short­est way down. Joe Whit­worth, ex-COA RN,

Braden­stoke, Wiltshire. QUES­TION What’s the old­est cricket club? FuR­tHeR to ear­lier an­swers, Bearsted Cricket Club, Kent, might not be the old­est club as the first ref­er­ence to it is from 1749 (and it hints that it al­most cer­tainly started ear­lier).

What makes it un­usual is that the club has played on the same ground — Bearsted Green — for the whole of that time. Very few older clubs can claim the same.

Robin Cross, Maidstone, Kent.

IS THERE a ques­tion to which you have al­ways wanted to know the an­swer? Or do you know the an­swer to a ques­tion raised here? Send your ques­tions and an­swers to: Charles Legge, An­swers To Cor­re­spon­dents, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, Lon­don, W8 5TT. You can also fax them to 01952 780111 or you can email them to charles. legge@dai­ly­mail.co.uk. A se­lec­tion will be pub­lished but we are not able to en­ter into in­di­vid­ual cor­re­spon­dence.

In stu­dio: Work on the Mount Rush­more model

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