Negev Guardian in Israel - Atlas Obscura

Negev Guardian

Ramat Hovav, Israel

One of the largest statues in Israel was erected to protest pollution. 

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A 16-meter-tall environmental statue in front Ramat-Hovav industrial zone, erected to protest the rampant pollution of the area, dominates the local desert landscape as a warning of the dangers of the polluted environment.

Negev Guardian was erected by environmental sculptor Emilio Mogilner with contributions from the local communities. It is also goes by the names the holy Sambusak statue (Sambusak being a type of pastry) and Shimidura (roughly translated as “bless you” in Moroccan Arabic).

The statue is made out of thousands of tons of earth shaped into the ancient face of a guardian. It stands five stories high on a foundation made of iron and cement.

Know Before You Go

The statue is not readily accessibly by regular car and there is no parking immediately next to the statue, There is a gas station across the road.


It is possible to drive off Highway 40 right after Neot Hovav junction going north but this requires a 4X4 vehicle (there is a rather deep ditch right next to the road).


The area is also home to Bedouin tribes so due respect and caution from driving vehicles on the dirt is called for.

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June 15, 2023

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