The Temple of Dendur was on the west bank of the Nile, 50 miles south of Aswan and 600 miles south of Cairo. This location was just below ancient Egyot's border in the area known as Lower Nubia.
A dam was built at Aswan about 1900, and heightened several times so that the Dendur Temple was completely flooded part of every year.
Aswan High Dam
The High Dam at Aswan, begun in 1960 would have submerged this temple and similar monuments forever.
The Government of Egypt thus appealed to nations of the world through UNESCO to help save the Nubian monuments. The US Government responded with a gift of $16 million in Egyptian credit, and the result was that America was able to choose the finest of the four shrines offered by Egypt in gratitude.
The Temple of Dendur is in fact a gift of the Government and People of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Government and People of the United States. It was awarded to The Metropolitan Museum by a presidential commission in 1967 on the basis of the Museum's ability to provide a suitable protected environment; opportunity for numerous people to view it; and major Egyptian collection as a context for it.
The temple and its gateway were rebuilt at The Metropolitan Museum much as they were on the banks of the Nile. The setting of gray granite has been reconstructed to the greatest extent possible from comparable temples and pre-20th century documents.