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Ever since the city of Memphis, in the southwestern corner of the US state of Tennessee, was named after the ancient Egyptian capital that stood majestic along the Nile River, Memphians have been enamored with all things Egypt. The city calls itself the jewel of the "American Nile", the Mississippi River. There are permanent displays of Egyptian antiquities at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis. The gates, walls and columns at the Memphis Zoo are decorated with Egyptian motifs and hieroglyphs. There was once even a football team called Memphis Pharaohs.

In the 1950s, the city decided that it was missing one important link to their Egyptian namesake — the pyramids. It took nearly four decades to realize their dream, but finally in 1991, at the cost of $65 million, the city got its own pyramid.

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