As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

A convoy of vehicles carrying royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Egypt held a parade celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

Egypt held a gala parade on Saturday celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from central Cairo to their new resting place in a huge new museum further south in the capital.

The ceremony, intended to showcase the country’s rich heritage, meandered along the Nile Corniche from the Egyptian Museum overlooking Tahrir Square to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in the Fustat neighborhood, where Egypt’s first Islamic capital was located.

The mummies were transported in air-conditioned boxes loaded on trucks with wings and Pharaonic design for the hour-long journey from their former home in the older Egyptian museum. The vehicles were supposed to look like the old boats used to bring deceased pharaohs to their graves.

Most of the mummies belong to the New Kingdom, which, according to the Ministry of Antiquities, was built between 1539 and 1075 BC. BC Egypt ruled.

These include Ramses II, one of the most famous pharaohs, and Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s only pharaoh woman who wore a fake beard in an attempt to break the tradition that women only have to play a subordinate role in the royal hierarchy.

The mummies – 18 pharaohs and four other kings – were originally buried in secret tombs in the Valley of the Kings and on the nearby Deir el-Bahri grounds around 3,000 years ago. Both areas are near the southern city of Luxor. The graves were first excavated in the 19th century.

As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

A convoy of vehicles carrying royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Egypt held a parade celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

After the excavation, the mummies were brought to Cairo from boats that sailed the Nile. Some were displayed in glass cases while others were kept. The remains of Ramses II were brought to Paris in 1976 for intensive restoration work by French scientists.

The TV parade was part of Egypt’s efforts to attract foreign tourists by promoting its ancient artifacts. The tourism industry has recovered from the political turmoil following the 2011 popular uprising, in which longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and, more recently, overthrew the coronavirus pandemic.

“This parade is a unique event in the world and will not be repeated,” said Minister of Tourism and Antiques, Khaled el-Anany.

Security in the capital was tight and the authorities closed key roads and intersections along the route to slow-moving vehicles. Guards on horses and Egyptian celebrities and signatories followed the motorcade.

  • As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

    A convoy of vehicles carrying royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Egypt held a parade celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

  • As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

    A convoy of vehicles carrying royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Egypt held a parade celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

  • As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

    People watch the royal mummies parade in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday April 3, 2021. Egypt hosted a parade to celebrate the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

  • As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

    People watch the royal mummies parade in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday April 3, 2021. Egypt hosted a parade to celebrate the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

  • As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

    A convoy of vehicles carrying royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Egypt held a parade celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP Photo / Samah Zidan)

  • As a sign of the pharaonic heritage, Egypt displays royal mummies

    A convoy of vehicles carrying royal mummies is seen in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Egypt held a parade celebrating the transport of 22 of its precious royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. (AP photo)

“Again Egypt is thrilling the world with an incomparable event,” said film star Hussein Fahmy in an official promotional video.

The event began in the late afternoon and was broadcast live on state television and other satellite channels in the country. The Ministry of Tourism and Antiques also broadcast it live on social media platforms.

The “Pharaohs Golden Parade” circled Tahrir Square, where authorities officially unveiled an obelisk and four sphinxes to decorate Cairo’s most famous square.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who will greet the mummies in the new museum, tweeted: “This majestic scene is new evidence of the greatness of this people, the guarding of this unique civilization that extends into the depths of history.”

In the new museum, 20 of the mummies will be on display, while the remaining two will be kept, according to the ministry.

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