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Ramses the Great left the Museum of Science structure he has graced for four months Thursday amid preparations to move the 57-ton, 3,000-year-old statue to another museum.

The 21/2-story granite statue, known as the Colossus of Memphis, was hoisted in three separate parts out of a specially built outdoor pavillion at the museum, packed and placed in separate crates.The statue and 72 accompanying artifacts are to be trucked out of Boston to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C. sometime before Tuesday, museum spokeswoman Dana Wilson said. Security will be tight and the museum is not authorized to reveal when objects will be moved.

"I feel sad to see it go," Wilson said. "It was very exciting having it here."

The Ramses the Great exhibition lured 700,000 visitors to the museum from across the United States and abroad during its stay from April 30 to Aug. 30, Wilson said. It was the largest and most expensive exhibit the museum has ever hosted.

The statue depicts Ramses II, the son born to Egyptian King Sety I around 1300 B.C. Ramses II later ruled Egypt, then the world's richest and largest country, for more than 60 years.

He lived more than 80 years, fathered about 50 sons and 40 daughters and was respected as a great pharoah, statesman, warrior and builder who erected a large number of temples, palaces and monuments.

Archaeologists discovered the statue of Ramses II, which had stood at the Temple of Ptah in Memphis, Egypt, in broken pieces buried in sand, in 1962.